“You have the right to remain silent.” Everyone has heard this phrase on television and in the movies but the truth is that this is a fundamental right established by the Constitution of the United States after any arrest. Your decision to remain silent after an arrest can never be used in any way against you in a case or in court, so it is critical that you absolutely exercise this Constitutional right. Consider the following reasons why you should always exercise your right to remain silent and avoid any type of self-incrimination.
Telling Your Side
Being arrested is terrifying. You may feel an immediate compulsion to tell explain yourself to the police officers who are arresting you. You may want to exculpate yourself from any responsibility or liability or simply to plead your innocence regarding the crime.
However, anything you say can, and likely will, be used against you. Even innocent statements made in an attempt at explanation or self-defense can be somehow twisted out of context and used in a case against you. While you may feel strongly that you need to tell your side of the story, you should wait for the correct time and place. Where you make the decision to tell your side of the story may absolutely change how the police prosecute you. If you take the time and exhibit the patience necessary to wait to tell your side after visiting with legal counsel, and in a court of law, you will have a much better chance that your side of the story will be heard accurately and not twisted against you.
Remember, words and actions can be taken out of context. If you are upset that you were arrested, you may not be thinking clearly or reacting in the right state of mind. You may say something that is false or does not represent the full accuracy of the event. Even if you are slightly mistaken, these statements can be used against you in a court of law. In an attempt to plead your innocence, your words could actually be used to prove your guilt.
The Fifth Amendment
If arrested, you may feel uncomfortable but you should absolutely evoke your rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. This means that you will remain completely silent until you can meet with an attorney who will help ensure that your legal rights are protected.
While you may feel uncomfortable, you should state, “I’m taking the Fifth.” After saying this, you should say nothing and remain absolutely silent. While you do not have to say anything related to the arrest, you will need to communicate fundamental and vital information such as your name and date of birth. However, after providing this information, you have no legal obligation to say anything else. Additionally, it is important for you to realize that not saying anything and invoking your Fifth Amendment right will never impact your case, and the prosecution is never allowed to tell a judge or jury if you made the decision to remain silent after the arrest.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kathleen G. Alvarado will help you build your strong defense. Contact us today at 951-419-4565 or online.