Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Invoking the rights explained in the Miranda warning

When police in Illinois suspect that a person has committed a crime, they are required to inform the person about their rights by giving them a Miranda warning. In the Miranda warning, a law enforcement official explains that an individual has the right to remain silent and have an attorney present at an interrogation.

People who voluntarily make statements to police after hearing the Miranda warning has effectively waved their Fifth Amendment rights to protection from compelled self-incrimination. These statements may be used against them in court if they are charged with a crime. Law enforcement officials must make sure that people understood that they were waving their Miranda rights before statements can be admitted as evidence.

Those who choose to invoke their Miranda rights after being taken into custody should communicate that intention clearly. Simply not talking for a period of time will not prevent law enforcement officers from continuing to interrogate a person. Police may allow people who have not invoked their Miranda rights to remain silent for a period of time before attempting to interrogate them again. On the other hand, waiving the right to remain silent does not have to be voiced explicitly.

A criminal law attorney may advise people who are being investigated by law enforcement to explicitly invoke their right to remain silent from the first moment that police begin interrogating them. Facing a police interrogation alone can be intimidating, and an individual could end up making incriminating statements without realizing it. An attorney can be present at all meetings with law enforcement officials and help clients to file motions to suppress evidence that was obtained illegally.

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