You've seen it time after time on shows and in the movies: Cops slapping the cuffs on a "perp" and reading them their rights. But does it always happen that way? And can your silence actually be used against you sometimes?
Police officers may seek information from people whom they have no immediate intention of arresting, whether they are suspects or simply appear to be sources of information. There are legal consequences both of talking and remaining silent.
Many states have stop-and-identify laws. Under these laws, if a police officer reasonably suspects that someone has engaged in criminal activity, the officer can stop the person and ask for identification.
Suppose an eventual defendant hasn’t been arrested yet. The police haven’t questioned him, nor has he come forward to tell them his version of events. After the defendant’s arrest, when he's testifying at his trial, may the prosecutor impeach (discredit) him with his pre-arrest silence? In Jenkins