Originally Posted by SeedReaver
They just had a lawyer lady on NFL network saying that 'suspects' can't plead the fifth until they're actually dubbed as suspects. So the cops keep them 'persons of interest' so the cops can ask them questions. Something about your silence CAN be used against you sometimes until you actually plead the fifth (not sure if true).
As a general rule, thereís never a legal obligation to speak to police. There are a small handful of exceptions to this, none of which would seem to apply here.
The Miranda case merely requires police to tell people this, provided that the person is subject to ďcustodial interrogation.Ē In other words, if you arenít in ďcustodyĒ or if you are ďvolunteeringĒ information, police donít have to advise you of your right to remain silent.
By the way, if they violate your Miranda rights, they can still use your statements against you in court under some circumstances, such as impeaching you with inconsistent statements if you later testify.
Whether or not a person is an official suspect isnít that important. But if a person is told that they are a suspect, that can have an impact on determining whether they were in "custody." In other words, it can be a factor in determining whether a reasonable person would believe they were not free to just walk away.
Pre-arrest silence is a more complicated issue. In some cases itís admissible and in some cases it isnít. Itís more likely to be admissible if you start talking and then shut up, or if you subsequently offer evidence that would be utterly inconsistent with remaining quiet.
So there is some slight legal motivation for police to withhold announcing that so and so is an official suspect.
There are plenty of other reasons why police usually donít publicly identify suspects early in their investigation. They rarely want to show their hand. They rarely have motivation to talk to the press about the details of their investigation more than necessary. They donít want statements of that kind to come back and bite them if their investigation later takes a different turn, etc.