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In June 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that a suspect who stays silent and uncooperative after Miranda warnings are given has not invoked the right to remain silent. Miranda warnings inform an individual in police custody of the following constitutional rights:

  • You have the right to remain silent when questioned.
  • Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish.

A simple but unambiguous statement from a suspect is mandatory, the Supreme Court said in Berghuis v. Thompkins. In other words, you can effectively give up your Miranda rights by NOT saying anything.

To invoke your rights it's best to say: "I wish to invoke my right to remain silent and speak with an attorney."

Saying things like...

"Maybe I should talk to an attorney."


"Do you think I should talk to a lawyer?"


"I'm not sure I want to talk to you." not enough. You must clearly tell the officers you do not wish to speak and want a lawyer.

If you are suspected in a criminal case, you should contact an criminal defense attorney before giving a statement of any kind. Refuse to speak to police until they provide you with an attorney or give you the ability to contact an attorney.

If you find yourself or a loved one in this situation, contact McGraw & Strickland at: (575) 323-1529

Las Cruces, NM

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McGraw & Strickland, LLC
165 West Lucero Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Phone: 575-567-3107
Fax: 575-680-1200
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