You have seen several news stories and TV dramas about how a person accused of a crime chooses to “claim the Fifth”. This is a reference to a person’s right against self-incrimination afforded under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This right is one of the several rights a person has under the Fifth Amendment.
Our firm has compiled a brief summary of your Fifth Amendment rights. What they mean, and when you can exercise them in the event that you should ever be accused of a crime.
Your Fifth Amendment rights Grand juries
You may not be held to answer for a federal crime without being first formally indicted by a grand jury. In other words, you may not be accused of a federal crime unless a jury of between 12 and 23 members has reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime. This right only applies to federal courts.
You cannot be charged and tried for the same crime twice, known as “double jeopardy.” This right protects you from being harassed by the state for the same offense. The right against double jeopardy provides three distinct protections. First, a right not to face a second prosecution after an acquittal. Second, a right not to receive a second prosecution after a conviction. Third, a guarantee not to receive multiple punishments for the same offense. Self-incrimination The right against self-incrimination allows a person to remain silent when being questioned about an alleged crime.
You have the right not to provide evidence against yourself. This privilege applies to both criminal and civil proceedings in state and federal courts. If you are ever accused of a crime it is imperative you exercise this right. Refrain from discussing your charges with anyone except your attorney.
Due process clause
Due process guarantees you have a right to receive a fair trial before the government can deprive you of life, liberty, or property. While the wording of the Fifth Amendment only applies to federal crimes, this same right is applied to state crimes through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Charged with a Crime? Call (720) 454-3998 If you are facing charges for any criminal offense, a high-caliber Denver criminal defense lawyer from Musell Law can protect your freedom against the prosecution’s claims and maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation. Musell Law has an extensive history of case victories and positive client testimonials. Your case is sure to be in good hands. To find out more about what our firm can do for you, schedule a free case review today.