Your Right to Remain Silent
You have the right to remain silent. This commonly known expression is actually a serious legal right you have under the Constitution of the United States. If you were arrested or charged with any criminal offense, you have the right to remain silent. The right to remain silent preserves your ability to prevent self-incrimination. Consider your right under the law very seriously before you decide to waive it by visiting with police officers and law enforcement after you have been arrested or charged.
Wanting to Tell Your Side
Being arrested or charged can be overwhelming and terrifying, especially if you are innocent of any crime. Oftentimes, a person will feel pressured, obligated, or even compelled to tell their side of the story and to explain that they feel they are innocent. Other times, a person is simply trying to explain their side of the incident.
You have a legal right to tell your side of the story in a court of law, and while you are represented by legal counsel. Sometimes the desire to tell your side is strong, but if you have just been charged or arrested, you may not be thinking clearly. The words you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. If you misspeak, or simply describe something incorrectly, it can bring devastating results. Anything you say can be taken out of context, or in a way that is easily misinterpreted. Whatever the truth is regarding your situation, your arrest, your charge, you have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Speaking with a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your rights, and how best to explain your side of the story to law enforcement if that is still your wish.
How to Invoke Your Fifth Amendment Right
To invoke your right to the Fifth Amendment, you simply need to say, “I’m taking the Fifth.” Then remain completely silent. Stating your name, address, and date of birth is acceptable so that law enforcement can know that they are addressing the correct person. However, anything else you say can incriminate you, even if it was said innocently.
If you are being detained by law enforcement, you have the right to be represented by legal counsel during any discussion. Waiving this right can be devastating to your case, as anything you say can be taken out of context.
How Taking the Fifth Amendment Affects Your Case
If your case ever goes to a jury, they will never be told whether you did or didn’t invoke your Fifth Amendment rights. This is important to note because taking the Fifth Amendment can never hurt your case in the courtroom. The jury will never know if you did or did not invoke your Constitutional right to prevent self-incrimination.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you were charged or arrested, you are likely scared and confused about your next steps. Remember that under all circumstances you have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Anything you say can be taken out of context, and used against you at trial. You need a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced, dedicated, and committed to your case. Contact the Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today at 954-467-6656 or online for a free consultation.