Be Mindful of your Miranda Rights

If you are arrested or taken to a police station, you have the right to remain silent.

  • Take our advice: Be sure to specifically tell police you want to talk to a lawyer and want to remain silent.

In a 5-4 ruling on Tuesday in Berghuis v. Thompkins, the U.S. Supreme Court weakened long-standing protections against coercive police interrogations. Miranda warnings inform people who have been arrested of their rights to remain silent and to consult with an attorney.

But now anyone who is arrested must speak up to stop an interrogation once they have been informed of their rights. Otherwise, according to the Supreme Court ruling, the questioning can go on for hours and any statement you make can be used against you in court. But if you say you want to speak with a lawyer or to remain silent, the police must immediately stop interrogating you.

Know Your Rights

Download our guide, Your Rights and the Police, a one-page tip sheet to carry with you. It's available in English and Spanish

Right now is a good time to learn some practical tips on interacting with the police in California. The tip sheet is filled with information you, your friends, and family members need to know whether you are stopped on the street, in your car, or if you get arrested or taken to a police station.

Download it. Read it. Share it. Know your rights.

Kelli Evans
Associate Director
ACLU of Northern California