Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

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Know how and when to invoke your Miranda rights

When you are being detained and police want to question you, they must read you your Miranda rights before they get started with the questions. These are fundamental rights that you have according to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. The need for police officers to inform you of these rights was firmly established in Miranda v. Arizona. The U.S. Supreme Court issued the ruling in 1966 and it has been upheld since. Some defense strategies include claims of rights violations.

There are four things that must be included in the Miranda warning. None of these can be missing, but each police department can word the warnings differently as long as the meaning remains consistent. These warnings include that you can remain silent, that your statements can be used against you in court, that you have the right to have an attorney and that you can have a court-appointed attorney if you can't afford one.

You have the option of waiving these rights or invoking them when you are with the police officers. If you choose to waive them, anything that you say to police officers can be held against you in court. Conversely, if you invoke them, police must stop questioning you. Your silence in the case can't be construed as an admission of guilt.

If the police continue to question you once you have invoked these rights, nothing that comes from the interrogation can be used in your case. This includes your statements and any evidence recovered as a result. It is imperative that you discuss this matter with your legal representation so that it can be determined if there are any elements that are useful in your case.

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Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Fax: 270-439-1177

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