Anyone who’s watched true crime shows or even some popular movies has probably heard when police officers tell someone that they have specific rights, including the right to remain silent. Those rights are known as their Miranda rights.
The Miranda rights are based on the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. In order to fully enjoy the protections that are set forth by them, you have to invoke those rights clearly. This is a crucial step for anyone who’s interacting with law enforcement.
You can’t invoke your Miranda rights by simply being quiet. Instead, you need to tell the police officers that you’re exercising your right to remain silent or that you want to invoke your Miranda rights. Once you do this, they have to stop all questioning. Your invocation of the Miranda rights covers the officers who are questioning you right then, but it also extends to all other law enforcement officials. They can’t just switch out interrogators and continue questioning you.
Once you invoke your Miranda rights, you need to consult with your legal representative to determine where to go from there. Remember, invoking your Miranda rights can’t be construed as an admission of guilt, so you should feel free to invoke them as often as necessary.
Understanding your legal rights before you interact with law enforcement is beneficial, but learning about these rights even if you’re already facing charges is also important. Violations of your rights can sometimes be a vital component of a defense strategy. Evaluating all the strategy options can help you determine the best option for your needs.