The Fifth Amendment: The Right to Not Self-Incriminate

Posted By Carlson & Collier || 11-Mar-2016

A tactic that law enforcement often uses against a suspect is to force a false confession. The police might detain you or ask you to report to the police station for questioning. This is when you become vulnerable, a party to their overall scheme, and a pawn in their game of extracting as much information as possible to secure a conviction.

More than likely, you already know that you have the right to retain an attorney and you have the right to remain silent. Along with that, you have the right not to incriminate yourself as well. Have you ever hear of the phrase, to “Plead the Fifth?” This is in reference to the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, where the suspect calls upon his or her right not speak at trial, if the responses could possibly incriminate him.

Pleading the Fifth

Pleading the fifth can also occur during the criminal investigation aspect. This will prevent police officers or investigators from digging further, especially when they use force or threats to gain a confession.

Pleading the Fifth can protect a suspect from the following:

  • Threats of force, intimidation, violence, coercion, to make a suspect confess, or supply law enforcement with information
  • Probing the suspect for more information, after he or she has invoked the right to retain an attorney or to remain silent
  • Threatening harm to property, family members, or others close to the suspect to force a confession

The Fifth Amendment can be invoked at any time during the criminal process. If you are under a criminal investigation, you should never engage with law enforcement official unless you have retained an attorney. The reason for this? Police officers have received training in various tough interrogation techniques to coerce a confession at all costs.

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We are Richmond criminal defense lawyers with over 70 years of combined experience and have handled numerous case at both the state and federal level. We know how to champion for our clients’ best interests and step in to protect them from the potential penalties. You have the right not only to protect yourself from incrimination but to protect your rights as well.

We urge you to contact Carlson & Collier as soon as possible if you are facing criminal charges.

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