The Importance of Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent, Part 2

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Even if you are in police custody, you still have rights. In police custody, however, you must remain absolutely silent for the entire questioning period if you want to invoke this right without specifically stating it. It’s much safer to specifically state, “I want to invoke my right to remain silent.”

It’s a fact that the police are under no obligation to ask you if you are invoking your right or to clarify that you have invoked this right. That’s why you need to be aware of your rights and specifically state that you do not want to talk to the police or that you won’t answer any questions. Then, be sure to remain silent if the police continue to question you.

Speaking after you have invoked your right to remain silent means that the court may find that you waived your right to silence simply by speaking. When you invoke your right immediately, it is easier to avoid accidentally saying something that you did not mean.

You want to be sure to know how to assert your right to remain silent. Once you know how to be as clear as possible, there will be no question that you are asserting your right to remain silent. Use clear language and speak with authority while using one of the following phrases:

  • I do not want to talk to you. I want to speak with an attorney.
  • I am invoking my right to remain silent.
  • I refuse to speak with you.
  • I am claiming my Miranda rights.
  • I am choosing to remain silent.

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