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Miranda rights: What you need to know

A person who’s being detained by police and those who are being arrested will be read their Miranda rights. These are established in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Two of the rights that this amendment provides are the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present when you’re being interrogated.

It’s critically important that anyone who’s having this type of interaction with the police understand how these specific rights impact them. They also need to know how to make it crystal clear that they’re invoking these rights.

How to invoke your Miranda rights

Once you’re read your Miranda rights, or even before you’re read them, you can invoke those rights by clearly stating that you’re exercising your right to remain silent. Simply being quiet isn’t enough to invoke those rights. You have to let the officers know that you’re invoking your Miranda rights. Some statements you can make include:

  • I invoke my Miranda rights.
  • I need to speak to my attorney before I answer questions.
  • I choose to remain silent.
  • I’ll only speak to my attorney.

After you invoke your rights

After you tell police officers that you’re invoking your Miranda rights, they must stop questioning you. The information they obtain from you once you clearly state that you want to remain silent isn’t admissible in court. The invocation of your rights applies to all law enforcement officers. They can’t just switch officers and start questioning you once you invoke your right to remain silent.

Anyone who’s facing criminal charges needs to learn about their defense strategy options. Law enforcement officers failing to respect your rights even after you invoke them may play a critical role in this strategy. Discuss the matter with someone familiar with these matters to find out how it impacts your case.