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How should you invoke your right to remain silent?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The United States Constitution provides specific rights to people. Some of these relate to the criminal justice system. For example, the Fifth Amendment gives individuals the right to avoid self-incrimination. Police officers must inform people about their right to remain silent in specific cases by reading them their Miranda rights.

Being read your Miranda rights is a serious matter. When a law enforcement officer tells you that you have the right to remain silent, you should likely invoke that right immediately.

Clearly state your intention to remain silent

If you find yourself in a situation where law enforcement officers ask you questions about a crime or an investigation, you can invoke your right to remain silent by clearly stating your intention. You can simply say, “I am invoking my right to remain silent,” or “I choose to remain silent.”

It’s crucial to be explicit in your statement to avoid ambiguity about your intention. Once you have invoked this right, you should stop talking. Continuing to speak after invoking your right can complicate the situation and weaken your legal standing.

Don’t waiver in your decision

After you have invoked your right to remain silent, it’s essential to stick to your decision, regardless of how law enforcement officers might react. You should remember that your right to remain silent is universal, which means the officers can’t bring new officers in to resume questioning you.

Once you invoke your right to remain silent, you should speak to your legal representative before speaking to law enforcement officers. This enables you to learn your rights and provides you with critical guidance about how to proceed.