Facing arrest is scary and stressful, and many people do not know that they have rights. Upon arrest, the law enforcement officer reads the suspect the Miranda warning, which outlines certain privileges.

During an arrest, it may be hard to remember exactly what happens, so it is helpful to review what a suspect can and cannot do.

Specifics of the Miranda warning

According to Cornell Law School, the Miranda warning came into effect in 1966 thanks to a Supreme Court ruling. The basics of the warning come from the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution. The Miranda warning cites that the suspect has a right to an attorney and a right to remain silent.

In regard to the right to have an attorney present during questioning, if the person of interest does not have enough money to afford an attorney, the court will assign one. If an officer does not read Miranda rights to the suspect, the prosecutor may not use any evidence gained or statements made by the defendant.

The right to remain silent

According to FindLaw, just staying silent does not mean the police must stop asking questions. The suspect must clearly state his or her wish to remain silent. Some examples of dialogue the suspect may use include

  • “I invoke my right to remain silent.”
  • “I want to speak to my attorney first.”
  • “I want to remain silent.”
  • “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”

Be clear so the statement does not appear to be ambiguous. A suspect can invoke rights again if there is suspicion that the officers did not understand or hear the first statement. After a clear invocation, the police must stop questioning the suspect, even if someone else steps in to interrogate, or else it is a Miranda rights violation.