Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

You Have The Right To A Criminal Defense Attorney—But You Must Make A Unambiguous Request


Were you arrested on a criminal charge in Central Florida? If so, you are under no obligation to speak to police or prosecutors. Indeed, it is not in your best interests to do so without a criminal defense lawyer by your side. Your civil  rights matter. The Fifth Amendment protects your right to remain silent. The Sixth Amendment protects your right to an attorney.

However, invoking an attorney is not always as straightforward as many people think. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that you must make an “unambiguous or unequivocal request for counsel” for it to count. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense attorney explains what you need to do to invoke your right to legal counsel in Florida.

Case Analysis: Davis v. United States 

In 1994, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a critically important decision clarifying what a defendant needs to do to invoke their right to an attorney. The case of Davis v. United States centered around a man who was arrested for murder after an incident on the Charleston Naval Base.

Upon finding a deceased victim, Naval Investigative Service (NIS) detained and questioned a man named Robert Davis. During that questioning, Mr. Davis made the following statement: “Maybe I should talk to a lawyer.” He was later convicted of murder based, in part, on some of the statements he made during the interrogation.

Mr. Davis appealed the conviction on the grounds that he was denied his right to legal counsel. Upon reviewing the case, the nation’s highest court determined that Mr. Davis did not make a valid request for an attorney. In its decision, the Supreme Court set the national civil rights standard that a defendant’s request for an attorney must be “unambiguous or unequivocal.”

Why You Should Always Invoke Your Right to a Defense Attorney 

Some people have the natural (and understandable) inclination to talk to the police—especially if they know that they did not actually commit the crime. However, answering a law enforcement officer’s question without a lawyer present is a major mistake.

If you are being investigated for a crime or you have already been arrested for a crime, the simple reality is that the police are not on your side. They are looking for evidence that they can use to establish your guilt.

Unfortunately, it is easy for your answer to get misinterpreted or for your words to get taken out of context. An experienced Orlando, FL criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights. Clearly, unambiguously, and unequivocally invoke your rights to an attorney. 

Call Our Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, we are strong, aggressive advocates for justice. Our founding attorney Jose Baez has earned a national reputation for success. If you or your family member was arrested on a serious criminal charge, you have the right to a lawyer. Contact us now to set up a strictly private initial consultation with a top-rated Florida criminal defense attorney.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab