When you’re arrested, police will put you in custody to ensure that you won’t run away from any damages. Depending on the circumstances, the police may release you on a promise to appear in court. However, you will be held in custody without bond if you are arrested for domestic violence for the very first time.
Be careful during this time because a lot of your rights get abused, especially your right against self-incrimination.
This article will guide you on what you should do to protect yourself during these crucial times.
The Right Against Self-Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution grants US citizens the privilege of not having to self-incriminate themselves. This means that the government can’t force you to testify against yourself. As long as you remain silent, you can win your case unless the state can produce enough evidence of your guilt.
You can refuse to take the stand and testify at your trial, and the prosecutor may not comment on the defendant’s silence. The prosecutor cannot remark about why you will not take the stand and explain what happened.
You can refuse to talk to the police, and you can refuse to answer questions you believe will incriminate you.
The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment gives the individual the privilege against self-incrimination. This privilege doesn’t extend to organizations such as corporations.
This means that if a corporation is given a subpoena for its records and books, it cannot object. Nor can they object if corporate agents are compelled to testify, especially if they have received immunity from criminal prosecution.
If someone has corporate documents that incriminate the corporation in question, that person can’t resist turning them over when compelled to do so.
“If you have any questions or concerns about making self-incriminating statements, Thomas C Grajek is here to make sure all your rights are protected—always.”
Asserting Your Right Against Self-Incrimination
Officers must provide you with the Miranda warning whenever they interrogate you while you’re in custody, and it will be trouble for them if they don’t. The prosecution can’t cite your silence as evidence of your guilt if you have received the Miranda warning. If they cite your silence as evidence of your guilt after you are Mirandized, the warning is meaningless.
However, it has been established that the prosecution can bring up your silence if:
- The police have released you without reading the Miranda warning.
- You voluntarily answer questions that the police ask you.
- You don’t say that you’re using your rights to stay silent.
As long as you invoke your right to silence, the government can’t introduce your silence as evidence during your trial. So, without being Mirandized, or having your lawyer tell you to do so, say: "I claim my Fifth Amendment rights."
Courts need to know that you have claimed your Fifth Amendment rights so that your silence can’t be brought up during your trial.
Your attorney should be with you during any questioning done by authorities and help you invoke your Fifth Amendment rights.
Find a Reliable Lawyer
Legal proceedings can be tricky to understand, especially if it’s your first time in the criminal justice system.
If you have questions about your rights, or you’re facing criminal charges, such as aggravated assault charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney near you to ensure that your rights aren’t violated.
Contact us for a free consultation.
“When you don’t know what to say, it’s best that you shut up.”
How to Avoid Self-Incrimination While in Custody FAQs
Can your silence be used against you?
Your silence can be used against you unless you have claimed your Fifth Amendment rights. So, keeping quiet isn’t enough because the prosecutor can use your silence against you during your trial.
Can cops lie to you during interrogation?
Yes, police are allowed to lie to you and make false claims while interrogating you. An example would be claiming to have DNA evidence linking you to the crime you’re accused of, even if they don’t have such evidence.
Can a lawyer be present during interrogation?
Yes, you can. It’s part of your Miranda Rights.