Fifth Amendment

  • Right Against Self-Incrimination
    • Generally, the government is required to inform persons in police custody of their rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, if it seeks to introduce that person’s statements at trial.  Such rights include the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present for questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed to those who cannot afford to hire one.  Far too often, persons who have been arrested and are subject to interrogation will waive these rights at the suggestion of police.  The conventional wisdom is that by cooperating with the investigation, the police will presume the person is innocent.  However, most detectives have been trained in the art of eliciting inconsistent statements and incriminating responses from their subjects.  Moreover, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the practice of deception and deceit as technique for police to employ during interrogation. More often than not, it is prudent to respectfully decline to speak with police until you’ve had an opportunity to speak with an experienced lawyer about your specific situation.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_v._Arizona)
  • Due Process Rights
    • The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution state that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”  Throughout the years, courts have interpreted this language to protect people against a wide variety of police and prosecutorial infringements.  A seasoned attorney may invoke these protections to defend someone against manner in which they have been prosecuted, as well as to challenge the legitimacy of the law they have been accused of violating.