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Invoking your Miranda rights during a police interrogation

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Criminal Defense

When the police read you your Miranda rights before a custodial interrogation, you need to watch your words. Anything you say could be used against you in a court of law. Understanding your legal rights and asserting them is crucial under such circumstances.

Remember, you have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. Here is how to effectively invoke these rights and safeguard your interests in a criminal investigation.

Be clear and unequivocal

Staying silent or shaking your head when under custodial interrogation by law enforcement is not enough to invoke your Miranda rights. Such body language could be misinterpreted to mean something else. 

You should clearly state to the interrogator that you are invoking your right to remain silent and to have your attorney present. There are no exact words required to invoke your Miranda rights. You could say something like, “I am invoking my right to remain silent” and ‘I want to speak to a lawyer”.

Remain silent

Once you have invoked your Miranda rights, do not provide any further information or answer questions. Stay calm and silent. If the police continue interrogating you, you can repeat your legal assertions to remain silent and have counsel present during questioning.

Do not bow to intimidation, pressure or other police tactics to get you talking. Whatever you say could still implicate you even after invoking these rights.

The importance of early legal guidance

While knowing your rights and how to invoke them is crucial, equally important is having qualified guidance when you are under a criminal investigation. It can help you navigate the legal system, understand the potential consequences of your actions and avoid mistakes that could work against you.

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