People who have watched true crime shows have probably seen people being read their Miranda rights. These are very important that include two basic parts. The first is that they have a right to remain silent. The second is that they have the right to an attorney.
These Fifth Amendment rights are meant to prevent the person from incriminating themselves, but they aren’t automatic. Instead, these rights must be properly invoked. Contrary to popular belief, simply not speaking isn’t enough to invoke these rights.
How do you invoke your Miranda rights?
You must make it clear that you’re invoking your rights. This is best done by specifically telling the police officer something along these lines:
- I choose to remain silent.
- I invoke my Miranda rights.
- I won’t speak until I consult an attorney.
- I’m exercising my right to remain silent.
Once you invoke your Miranda rights, the officers have to stop questioning you. The invocation of your rights is universal, so they can’t just get new officers in to start questioning you again. If they try to question you after you clearly invoke your right to remain silent, they’re violating your rights and anything you say after that point can’t be used against you in court. But, if you clearly invoke your rights, you must ensure you remain silent.
Facing criminal charges requires you to explore all options for a defense strategy if you want the best possible outcome for your case. One of the possibilities is a violation of your rights, but you should discuss your case with someone familiar with these matters to determine if it’s viable for your situation.