Self-incrimination happens more often than you may think. There have been cases in which the only evidence was brought in by the accused. It may seem ridiculous to think that you could ever incriminate yourself, but it does happen. It is actually pretty easy for people to get caught off guard and actually incriminate themselves even if they did not commit the crime. Whether it is nerves or just bad timing, there are certainly things you can do to help you avoid connecting yourself to legal activity.
Talking to the Police
Remember, you have a right to remain silent. You should always invoke that right. Avoid speaking to the police until you have your attorney present. Even casual conversation can be used against you in court. Police officers are trained to get people to comply with their request to question a potential suspect. Do not fall for the bait. Simply state that you would like your attorney and then remain quiet. It is not illegal to not talk to the police. Some officers may come off as intimidating while others will be very friendly and chatty. Either way, know that you do not have to speak to them without your attorney.
Keep Your Phone Clean
Cell phones have become a huge tool for prosecutors. Your cell phone actually contains a ton of information about you that could be perceived as admission or involvement in a crime. Think about how often you use your phone and the things you say to friends and family. Most of us can be pretty liberal with the way we speak to people that we are comfortable with. Because things can certainly be taken out of context, you should do a few things to make sure your phone doesn’t incriminate you. You should regularly do the following:
- Clear data;
- Close out apps; and
- Set up passwords.
Cell phones contain a ton of information that can date back. While you may not be involved in a crime, even a simple joke can give prosecution the grounds they need to bring charges against you. Please be aware, that you should not delete any information from your phone once you have been arrested for a crime. Allow a professional attorney to create a solid defense for you. Do not try to defend yourself.
Your Fifth Amendment Right
The U.S. Constitution protects people from having to testify against themselves at trial. The Fifth Amendment essentially allows you to not answer questions that make incriminate you while on the stand. However, it is important to remember that the Fifth Amendment does not apply to fingerprints or DNA testing. If you are subpoenaed to provide such information you must comply.
If you or someone you know needs legal defense in Florida, reach out to Scott Skier. Attorney Skier is located in West Palm Beach and has years of experience with a number of criminal cases. He knows the importance of assisting each client from start to finish. He is there to answer your questions and guide you through the legal process. Contact him today for a consultation.