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The right to remain silent when confronted by Pennsylvania law enforcement

Police officers and prosecutors receive extensive training on how to gather evidence of criminal conduct. Still, if law enforcement officials suspect your involvement in a criminal matter, they are likely to question you. The primary reason for this questioning is to collect additional evidence to use against you.

As an American and a Pennsylvanian, you have a fundamental right not to incriminate yourself. To protect this right, you have the choice of whether to cooperate with law enforcement. You also have the option of having an attorney with you during the criminal justice process.

You do not have to talk

Law enforcement personnel have the upper hand when questioning criminal suspects. To intimidate you, they may put you in a small interrogation room for hours and deny you access to comfort items. Officers may also lie to you about virtually anything. Given the disadvantages you have, it is critical to remember you do not have to talk to police or prosecutors.

You do not have to divulge passwords

Just as you have a right to remain silent, you have a right to protect your private thoughts. If officers request the password to your computer, you do not have to give it to them. Officers also typically cannot force you to unlock your personal computer. If you are having difficulty resisting an officer’s requests for access to your communications devices, you can ask for a lawyer to do it for you.

There is nothing wrong with forcing officers and prosecutors to make their case without your help. Ultimately, by remaining silent, prosecutors must use something besides their words to pursue a conviction.

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