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Taken from video produced by Professor James Duane
The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to never be a witness against yourself. These are the top four reasons why you should never talk to the police.
- There is no way talking to the kops can help you. You can’t talk your way out of getting arrested. You can’t give them any information that will help you at trial. Anything you say can only be used against you and not for you. In fact, during your trial if your attorney asks an officer to repeat what you told him because it will help your case, the prosecutor can and will object because it’s hearsay.
- Whether you are guilty or not guilty, you may still be manipulated into admitting your guilt with no benefit in return. In more than 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants either made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or plead guilty.
- Even if you are innocent and deny your guilt and mostly tell the truth, you can easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make a little mistake that can hang you. The only time you should talk to the kops is in the presence of a jury. Having citizen witnesses and a court of record ensures your words do not get twisted and minor mistakes do not jeopardize your freedom.
- Even if you are innocent and always tell the truth, you will always give the police some information that can be used to help convict you. Supreme Court Ohio vs. Reiner states, “One of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions is to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness as well as those of a wrongdoer may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker’s own mouth.” Too many Americans view the Fifth Amendment privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers.