THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL
RIGHT #2: The Right to Counsel: Safeguard this right by simply saying, "I want a lawyer."
The right to an attorney is one of your strongest rights and in many circumstances, affords you the greatest protection as a service member accused or suspected of a crime. If you invoke your right to attorney assistance, an interview or interrogation must immediately stop until you have been afforded the opportunity to consult with a defense attorney. Once you have an attorney who represents you on a criminal matter, no person may question you again regarding the suspected offense unless your attorney is present. The practical effect of this important right is that once you request and obtain the assistance of an attorney, investigators or agents of the Government will no longer be able to harass you as they attempt to build a case against you.
IMPORTANT NOTE #1: Your request for an attorney cannot be equivocal. That means you must be clear that you DO want an attorney's assistance. Statements such as "Maybe I need a lawyer" or "A lawyer would be good right about now" or "I wish I could talk to an attorney" are NOT considered valid requests for an attorney. It could not be more simple, if you want to safeguard your rights, simply say "I want a lawyer."