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What is self-incrimination? 

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Interactions with law enforcement are a relatively rare occurrence for most people. This means that when they do happen, they can feel overwhelming. 

It may be tempting for an individual to plead their innocence and answer every question law enforcement has in detail. The reality is that this can put you in a compromised position legally. 

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from self-incrimination. Individuals can refuse to answer questions or make statements that could be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. Why should protection from self-incrimination be taken seriously? 

Building a narrative

Once you have been identified as a suspect, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to talk yourself out of the situation with law enforcement. They will be intent on finding evidence that suggests guilt and not innocence. 

Even if you make a statement that seems harmless, this could actually be detrimental. For instance, you may tell officers that you couldn’t have committed the crime in question because you were elsewhere at the time. Upon checking out your alibi, it turns out not to be true. You mixed up your times and dates by mistake. Now, law enforcement have the impression that you are lying and this could be the potential narrative for court. 

Being arrested and questioned can be intimidating, which is why it’s so important to understand your rights. You don’t have to go through the experience without support. You also cannot be forced to say anything that isn’t in your best interests.  

By seeking legal guidance, you can protect yourself and assert your rights.