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What Rights Do You Have When Questioned by Florida Police?

You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak, anything you say can be used against you in court. If you decide to answer any questions, you may stop at any time and all questioning will cease. You have a right to consult with your attorney before answering any questions. You have the right to have your attorney present if you decide to answer any questions, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you or appointed for you by the court without cost to you before any further questions may be asked. The police must stop their questioning of you if you make a clear request for an attorney. Phrases such as "I think I want an attorney" will not be clear enough to legally make them stop questioning you. You must unequivocally state you want an attorney.

Constitutional rights may be waived or given up voluntarily. Before you say or sign anything that might result in waiver of a constitutional right, weigh your decision carefully and consult with an attorney. If you cannot afford a private lawyer, you should advise the judge of this fact at your first appearance or as soon after that as possible. The judge will ask you some questions to see if you are eligible for the services of an attorney at public expense. You will probably be asked to take an oath of indigency, which is a sworn statement as to your inability to afford a private attorney.

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