Know the key points of avoiding self-incrimination
There are several rights that you need to think about when you are facing criminal charges. One of these is the right to avoid self-incrimination. This right is provided by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
You might have heard people on movies and on television say that they “plead the Fifth” when they are being questioned. This saying comes from this right. However, you have to know some specifics about what happens when you plead the Fifth.
One thing that has to be kept in mind is that you can’t plead the Fifth only to specific questions if you are being questioned. Instead, you need to plead the Fifth from start to finish.
Another point to remember is that jurors are instructed not to construe a defendant pleading the Fifth as an admission of guilt. The reasoning behind this is that some defendants are so worried about being convicted that they are concerned about saying anything, even if they are not guilty of the crime with which they have been charged.
Not all witnesses can plead the Fifth. Only those who might say something that would implicate them in a matter can plead the Fifth. This means that you can’t use this right as a way to prevent having to speak out against a friend.
You should make sure that you know all of your rights before you interact with police officers or find yourself before a judge. By knowing and understanding how and when to invoke your rights, you can help yourself throughout the legal process.
Source: FindLaw, “Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination,” accessed June 26, 2017