The purpose of Miranda warnings is to inform individuals of their constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment, which is the right to avoid self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment, which is the right to legal representation during custodial interrogations. By doing so, the warnings protect individuals from self-incrimination and ensure they have access to legal counsel if they choose.
There are four main points to the Miranda warnings
The Miranda warning is designed to remind anybody in police custody and under interrogation that:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Your statements can be used in the case against you.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- A lawyer will be provided to people who can’t afford one.
These rights aren’t automatically invoked. Instead, anyone who’s being questioned during detention by police officers must invoke their rights.
How do you invoke your Miranda warnings?
Your Miranda rights must be read to you, but they aren’t automatically invoked. Instead, you have to tell police officers that you want to invoke them. This can mean saying something along these lines:
- “I choose to remain silent.”
- “I want to speak to my lawyer.”
- “I invoke my Miranda rights.”
Once you have invoked your Miranda rights, law enforcement officers should stop questioning you until an attorney is present. It is important to remain respectful and cooperative with law enforcement officers even as you exercise your rights.
Failing to be read your Miranda rights is a violation of your civil rights. This might be used in your defense strategy, so be sure to discuss what happened with someone who’s familiar with these matters. Getting your defense together early is a good idea so you can carefully plan it.