Here is a fundamental rule regarding Miranda Warnings and invocation of one or both of the rights: Once a suspect unambiguously invokes his right to counsel during custodial interrogation, the officer must immediately cease questioning and honor that right.
In this case, the Ninth Circuit held that the defendant unequivocally and unambiguously invoked counsel during this exchange:
Immediately after hearing his Miranda rights, Martinez asked, “I can have an attorney?” The detective clarified whether Martinez wanted an attorney and Martinez stated, “I would like to have an attorney.” The detective asked Martinez if he already had an attorney to which he said “yes.” He asked Martinez if he already spoken to his attorney and whether Martinez would talk “but with an attorney present?” To the last question, Martinez replied “yeah cuz I don’t know much about the law.” The defendant then said “Alright. I’m willing to talk to you guys uh but just I would like to have an attorney present. That’s it.”
This case is a good refresher on invocation of the right to counsel and the requirements associated with it.