Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Traffic Violations, and Family Law & Divorce

Do you understand your Miranda rights?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Drug Charges

Miranda rights, also known as Miranda warnings, play a critical role in the U.S. criminal justice system. Stemming from the landmark 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, these rights are designed to protect individuals from self-incrimination during custodial interrogation by police.

Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The intention behind these rights is to ensure individuals are aware of their constitutional protections before they answer any questions or make any statements that could potentially incriminate them. 

The right to remain silent prevents individuals from being forced to testify against themselves, a protection rooted in the Fifth Amendment. The right to an attorney allows individuals to have legal counsel present during questioning, a guarantee provided by the Sixth Amendment.

How to invoke Miranda rights

Invoking your Miranda rights can be crucial during police questioning. If you’re in police custody and want to exercise these rights, it’s essential to do so clearly and unequivocally.

To invoke your right to remain silent, state that you choose to do so. Saying something like “I am choosing to exercise my right to remain silent” should suffice. After you’ve made this declaration, don’t make any other statements. Remember that anything you say after invoking this right could still be used against you.

Invoking your right to an attorney is similarly straightforward. Assert that you wish to consult with your attorney before answering any further questions. A clear statement like “I want a lawyer” should be enough.

Once you’ve invoked your Miranda rights, any interrogation should stop until you have a lawyer present. If questioning continues, it’s a violation of your rights, and any statements or evidence obtained may be suppressed in court. Understanding these rights and knowing how to invoke them is vital for anyone navigating an interaction with law enforcement officials.