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What are your Miranda rights and how should you invoke them?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Miranda rights, a cornerstone of the American legal system, safeguard individuals during police interrogations. When law enforcement officers detain or arrest someone, they generally have to read the person their rights, including the right to remain silent.

These rights are fundamental in ensuring that individuals aren’t compelled to become witnesses against themselves. Remembering these points when interacting with police while in custody, therefore, is crucial.

Expressing the desire to remain silent

To invoke the right to remain silent, individuals must explicitly state their intention to the police. Simply remaining silent without a clear declaration isn’t sufficient to invoke this right. Clear, concise statements are beneficial in these cases. Some examples include:

  • I want to speak to my attorney before speaking.
  • I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights.
  • I choose to remain silent until I speak to my attorney.

Once this right is invoked, law enforcement officers must stop questioning the individual about the crime. This includes new officers coming in to resume questioning.

Understanding the implications of invoking Miranda rights

It is important to understand that exercising these rights can’t be used as evidence of guilt and shouldn’t be viewed negatively. Instead, invoking these rights allows individuals to navigate the legal process with the protections afforded to them by the Constitution.

Law enforcement must respect these rights once invoked, and any violation can lead to the exclusion of evidence obtained during an interrogation. It can be beneficial for defendants to work with a legal representative who can evaluate the situation, explain the options and work on building a defense strategy to address the charges they’re facing as soon as they have been arrested.