CRIMINAL LAW: Invoking the Client’s Right to Remain Silent

Vol. 38 No. 3

The author is a professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach and the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Consider the following question, which comes up rather frequently. Suppose you represent a client who is scheduled to be questioned—perhaps at police headquarters, or at a hearing, trial, or deposition—and you have advised your client to assert the Fifth Amendment right to refuse to give testimony. Just what words should you advise your client to speak when the moment comes and it is time to invoke that right? 

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