The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from self-incrimination, which means that you do not have to answer any questions. Anything you say, even if it seems harmless, could be used as evidence against you in court. It is best to stay quiet and refuse to answer any questions until you have legal representation.
No matter the circumstances, anyone who is placed under arrest and is accused of a crime has the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire your own legal counsel, the state will provide you with a lawyer. It is best to refuse to discuss any aspect of the case until you have spoken to your lawyer, who can inform you of your legal rights and options.
If law enforcement tries to persuade you to sign anything, such as a statement or other type of document, you can refuse to do so. It is in your best interests to refuse to put your signature on anything until you can discuss the matter with your attorney.
- If you have not been placed under arrest but are merely being questioned, you have the right to stop answering questions and calmly leave.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to having your person, your home, or your vehicle searched.
- You have the right to make your own decisions, which means that if you choose to do so, you can answer the police’s questions, give a statement, or consent to tests without your attorney present.
- If you choose to speak to law enforcement, you have the right to stop answering questions or discussing the case at any time and wait for your lawyer.
- You have the right to be treated humanely, which means that the officers should not use excessive and unreasonable force against you.