Police officers have to read a person their Miranda rights before questioning a person they’ve taken into custody. These rights protect the person from specific violations of the Fifth Amendment. In order to have the protections that are noted in the Miranda rights, you must ensure that you invoke them correctly.
You can’t just assume that the police officers are going to know that you want to invoke your rights. Instead, you have to make it clear that you want them.
Clearly invoke your Miranda rights
The one thing that you can’t do is assume that the officers understand that you’re invoking your rights by just staying quiet. Silence is never a suitable way to invoke your Miranda rights.
There are several ways that you can invoke your Miranda rights. Some examples of statements you can make include:
- I’m remaining silent and wish to speak to my attorney
- I invoke my Miranda rights
- I choose to stay silent so I can speak to my lawyer
Once you invoke your right to remain silent, you don’t answer questions from any law enforcement officer. They can’t change the person who’s questioning you and expect that you’ll start to answer questions. The invocation of your Miranda rights is universal for all law enforcement officers.
Making sure that your rights are respected is one of the most important aspects of your defense. Discussing what’s going on with someone who’s familiar with this area of law is important so you know what options you have for your defense strategy. Doing this as early in your case as possible gives you time to determine what’s best for your needs.