As a criminal defense attorney I see individuals who freely talk with police far too often and what most people don’t realize is that the police are trained at getting you to admit wrong-doing even if you are innocent. This is their job. Little statements that seem innocent at the time are later used against you in order to obtain a conviction. The best way to protect yourself is to unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and to request an attorney immediately.
Invoking your Miranda Rights:
Miranda involves two basic rights, the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during any questioning. When an officer informs you that you are not free to leave, you are “in custody,” which invokes the right and the officer must read you the Miranda warnings:
1. you have the right to remain silent;
2. anything you say can and may be used against you in a court of law;
3. you have the right to have an attorney present before and during any questioning; and
4. if you cannot afford the services of an attorney, you have the right to have one appointed, at public expense and without cost to you, to represent you before and during the questioning.
You must CLEARLY state that you are choosing to remain silent and ask for an attorney. Ambiguous statements about not wanting to talk with police and possibly wanting to speak with an attorney are not enough. Once you have clearly invoked such right the police must stop all questioning.
Call us today if you find yourself in police custody.