Miranda v. Arizona went before the United States Supreme Court and became one of its most important legal cases. This single case is why police officers read Miranda rights to anyone taken into police custody.

You’ve probably heard these rights being read in movies and police dramas. They start with the officers telling the individual that they have the right to remain silent and continue with a few other points, including that they have the right to an attorney, that people who can’t afford an attorney can still have one appointed to them and that anything said can be used against the individual in court.

What should you do if you’re read your Miranda rights?

Police officers may ask you if you want to waive those rights. By waving your Miranda rights, you’re telling the police officers that they can continue questioning you about the crime. Even if you don’t state that you’re waiving the rights, you can provide an implied waiver if you continue speaking to the police officers after you’re read your rights.

It’s almost always best to invoke your Miranda rights. By clearly invoking your Miranda rights, you’re telling the police officers that you aren’t going to speak to them and that you want to speak to an attorney. Once you do this, they should stop questioning you and you should stop speaking.

You have to clearly invoke your Miranda rights. Never leave any guess about your intention. Stating something like “I will remain silent” or “I invoke my Miranda rights” doesn’t allow anyone to claim they didn’t know what you meant.

Once you invoke your Miranda rights, the officers can’t question you. The invocation is all-encompassing, meaning they can’t just call in other officers to continue with the questioning process.

Your rights aren’t just suggestions about how you should be treated. Violations of these rights during any part of the criminal justice process may impact the defense strategy you use. Ensure you’re working with someone familiar with these matters so you can develop the defense strategy that’s in your best interests.