Waiver of the right to remain silent must be knowing, intelligent and voluntary. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. at 463-466; State v. Hartley, 103 N.J. at 260. The question of waiver is to be determined on a case by case basis, taking into account, among other circumstances, the background, experience and conduct of the accused. North Carolina v. Butler, 441 U.S 369, 374-375 (1979); State v. Kennedy, 97 N.J. 278, 286 (1984). The State bears the heavy burden of proof to show beyond a reasonable dount that a defendant has waived his or her right against self-incrimination, State v. Reed, 133 N.J. at 251; State v. Bey (II), 112 N.J. 123, 135 (1988), in contrast to the federal preponderance of the evidence standard. Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157, 165 (1986). State v. Hartley, 103 N.J. at 260. The issue of waiver arises only if the police have scrupulously honored the suspect’s right to silence once invoked, or if the suspect never invoked his or her Miranda rights. State v. Adams, 127 N.J. 438, 445-446 (1992); State v. Hartley, 103 N.J. at 261.
If you or a family member has remained silent in a police interview in NJ, it is crucial you speak with a qualified criminal law firm who is experienced in handling criminal matters. The attorneys at Aiello, Harris, Abate have the experience and knowledge to protect your rights and defend you against criminal charges. For a free initial consultation, call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free.