Everyone has heard it on television and in the movies: “You have the right to remain silent.” If you have been arrested or charged with any type of criminal activity, this becomes a much more serious phrase. In fact, you have a right under the Constitution of the United States to remain silent after the arrest of a criminal offense. Your right to remain silent may never be used against you in court, so it is imperative that you exercise this right. Consider the following issue listed below, and take careful evaluation regarding your options before you decide to waive this Constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Telling Your Side
Being arrested or charged with any kind of criminal offense can leave you overwhelmed and terrified. Especially if you are innocent of the crime, you may feel a strong desire to tell your side of the story immediately. It is understandable that you would want to attempt to exonerate yourself from this crime and explain how you are completely innocent.
Another well-known saying is that “there is a time and place for everything.” This holds true as well regarding telling your side of the story after being arrested or charged with a crime. Where you choose to tell your story, and when, will greatly impact the outcome of your charge. You will always have a right to explain the situation from your point of view and perspective in court with an experienced attorney present. In this controlled situation, you have a better chance of your story being heard correctly and recorded accurately.
If you make the choice to voice your side of the story before you have legal representation, you may not be thinking clearly. You may not choose your words accurately, and the words you do choose could be manipulated, taken out of context, and used against you in a court of law. In essence, the consequence will be the exact opposite of your intention. While you may be intending to prove your innocence, your very words could be used to attempt to prove your guilt. Misinterpretations and misrepresentations of your statements could change the course of the outcome of your case permanently.
Your Fifth Amendment Right
If arrested and charged with a crime, consider taking the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Remain silent until you can visit with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you with your next steps.
To invoke your Constitutional right, you simply say, “I’m taking the Fifth.” Then you can remain completely silent. In practicality, you will need to tell the police officers your name, date of birth and address so that they know they are dealing with the correct person. However, after the invocation of this right, you have no legal responsibility to share any additional information until your attorney is present. Never worry if taking this right will impact your case. A jury will never be told if you invoked your Fifth Amendments rights.
Contact a Charleston Criminal Defense Lawyer
You have the right to remain silent is not just something for the movies and television, it is your Constitutional right. If you were arrested or charged with any kind of criminal offense, contact an experienced Charleston criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices will help you understand your rights, and help you build a strong defense. Contact us today at (843) 212-2684 or online today.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.