Contact Us Today (770) 249-4405


What Are My Rights as a Suspect in a Criminal Investigation?

Posted by Brett Willis | Feb 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

Navigating the maze of criminal justice can be daunting. If you're contacted by an investigator or detective seeking your statement, it's crucial to know and understand your rights. Your primary question may be, "What are my rights as a suspect in a criminal investigation?" Here, we'll explore that in detail.

Understanding Your Rights

It's a scene that's played out countless times in movies and TV shows: the anxious individual, wanting to prove their innocence, rushing to give a statement. In real life, however, the implications of speaking without understanding your rights can be significant.

The Right Against Self-Incrimination

In both the United States and Georgia, the Constitution affords individuals the right against self-incrimination. This means you have the power to decline invitations from investigators or detectives to speak or give a statement. You're not obligated to say a word..

The Jury and Your Silence: A Critical Distinction

Your choice to remain silent cannot and should not be used against you in a court of law.

Silence Isn't Admission

A jury isn't allowed to interpret your silence as an admission of guilt. If, for instance, you're summoned for an interview and decide against attending, the jury cannot be informed of this refusal. The essence is that you have the full right to keep silent without any inherent prejudice against you.

Tricky Landscape of Voluntary Interviews

Sometimes, out of a genuine desire to clear their names, individuals agree to interviews thinking it will present them as cooperative or innocent. However, it's important to tread carefully.

Allure of Proving Innocence

It's human nature to want to defend oneself, especially when wrongly accused. But rushing into a voluntary interview without a clear understanding of your rights, or without the counsel of a lawyer, can inadvertently jeopardize your position.

Statements Can Be Twisted

It's not about your intentions, but rather about how your words can be interpreted. What you may see as a clear declaration of innocence might be twisted into something incriminating when taken out of context or analyzed in a specific light.

Invoking Your Right to Counsel

One of the strongest statements you can make, without saying much, is to ask for a lawyer.

The Power of Legal Representation

Should you find yourself the target of a criminal investigation, invoking your right to legal representation can be a safeguard. Once you make this assertion, all questioning should cease until you have a lawyer present. This doesn't indicate guilt; rather, it's a proactive measure to ensure your rights are upheld.

The Attorney as a Buffer

With a criminal defense attorney by your side, you have someone who understands the intricacies of the legal landscape, ensuring that you don't unintentionally incriminate yourself. They act as a buffer, guiding you on when to speak and when to hold back.


Being the subject of a criminal investigation can be overwhelming. However, understanding and asserting your rights can make all the difference. Remember, you are under no obligation to participate in an interview, and your decision to remain silent can't be used against you. In criminal investigations, knowing what your rights are as a suspect is the first step towards ensuring your rights are protected. If you have further questions or need guidance, don't hesitate to contact Brett Willis Law today for expert assistance.

About the Author

Brett Willis

When the government has charged you with a crime, Brett Willis is the man to see. Brett has been winning the most difficult and serious cases since 2005.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

This is your life. Let us fight for it.

If you are facing criminal charges, you are in the right place. Give us a call at 770.249.4405, or send us a message.