You’ve heard it in all the police dramas: You have the right to remain silent. Invoking the right to remain silent can be an important step to take during an arrest. When you’re arrested, you should be read your Miranda rights. These are the rights that allow you to stay silent and provide you with the right to obtain an attorney who can be present during your interrogation.
Officers of the law must inform you about your Miranda rights. If they fail to do so and go forward with an interview, you can claim that you did not know you had those rights and any evidence collected may be inadmissible in court. As long as your Miranda rights have been read, anything you say or do may be used in court.
If you would like to invoke your right to stay silent, you are able to answer any of an officer’s questions with that phrase or state that you would like to speak to your attorney. You can say you’d like to speak with your attorney before working with the police or that you only want to speak with your attorney and no one else. Don’t be ambiguous when you invoke your rights; you should make clear statements to show you want to speak to your attorney.
You can invoke your rights at any point, from the moment an officer stops you until you have your Miranda rights read to you and agree. It can be helpful to invoke these rights if you do not wish to speak to an officer about a situation until you talk to your attorney; it can help you avoid saying something that could be incriminating. Our website has more on this interesting topic.