How to Invoke Your Miranda Rights in a Florida Criminal Case
You have probably seen the most dramatic moments in many TV shows, where an officer reads the suspect his or her rights at the moment of arrest. Though you may not know the specific reasons why, this scenario stems from the landmark US Supreme Court opinion in the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. The familiar language includes statements regarding your right to:
- Remain silent;
- Consult with a lawyer; and,
- Have an attorney present during questioning.
Still, knowing that you have these rights does not mean you know how to exercise them. The legal complications are challenging, hitting you at a time when you are already feeling nervous and intimidated by law enforcement. You should trust a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney to respond when you need help, but here are some tips on how to invoke your Miranda rights in a criminal case.
Your Right to Remain Silent: This component of the Miranda recital focuses on the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, as well as the mirror image provision in Florida Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. The right to remain silent prevents police from compelling you to be a witness against yourself, i.e., incriminate yourself through statements you make. You can invoke your right to remain silent at any time; it does not matter if you are being investigated, briefly detained, under arrest, or in custody.
Therefore, you can see the importance of citing the Fifth Amendment as early as possible in the encounter with police. A few tips may help guide you in doing so:
- State that you are invoking your right to remain silent and will not be answering additional questions.
- When exercising your Fifth Amendment rights, DO it. Do not try to proclaim your innocence, point the finger at others, or argue with officers.
- If officers do not terminate the encounter, ask whether you are under arrest. If so, follow the tips below.
Your Right to an Attorney: The Sixth Amendment is the source of many rights in all criminal prosecutions, including your right to a speedy trial, to confront witnesses – and to assistance of counsel for your defense. This right is another that you should invoke as early as possible, but definitely at the point where you are being questioned as a suspect in a crime.
The best way to invoke your right to a lawyer at the start of an interview with police is to make a statement that covers these bases:
- I am invoking my right to an attorney under the Sixth Amendment;
- Under my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, I will not answer any questions without my lawyer being present.
- I officially request to contact my defense attorney immediately.
Contact a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer ASAP
Once you get in touch with experienced legal counsel to protect your rights during questioning, your attorney will be in a good position to defend your interests for the remainder of the case. To learn more about our legal services, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can discuss strategies after learning more about your circumstances.