You may already know that you have the right to remain silent when police officers try to question you after taking you into state custody. They can keep you in a room and ask you questions for hours and you don’t necessarily have to answer a single one of them.
If you invoke your right to remain silent, you may assume that you have avoided the all-too-common mistake of self-incrimination. However, it is still possible to put yourself at a serious legal disadvantage at any point while you are in state custody. What you say to other people can hurt your case just as easily as any statements that you make to the police. Here are some of the risks you should you watch out for while in state custody.
Any call you make could end up recorded
You have the theoretical option to make a phone call, usually either to summon an attorney or ask a family member to assist you with securing temporary release while you await charges. Although, Kentucky does not treat a phone call as an absolute right after an arrest.
People sometimes take for granted that they have a right to privacy while on the phone. However, conversations on the phone are subject to recording in any police facility or prison. In other words, anything you say on the phone could be subject to intense scrutiny. Even when there is a theoretical assumption of a right to privacy, such as when you talk to your lawyer, there is still a possibility of someone overhearing you if you say the wrong thing.
Any other person in custody could be an informant
There are some people who reduce the criminal penalties they face by working with the police. Jailhouse informants likely know that they could spend quite some time in state custody themselves and they are often eager to share anything of value with the authorities if it will reduce their sentence.
While you may think that making exaggerated statements to the people in the same room as you will help protect you from abuse and victimization, those statements might come back to haunt you if the people who hear you repeat those words to the police.
While in state custody, maintaining total silence or avoiding discussions about the reason for your arrest may be the best option, as anything you say could be subject to recording or become part of the state’s case against you. Understanding common mistakes people make while facing criminal charges can help you better protect yourself after an arrest.