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 does your Fifth Amendment rights mean?
Your Fifth Amendment rights Grand juries
First of all, in order to face a federal crime, a grand jury must indict you. Then, a jury of between 12 and 23 members decides if there is reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime. However, this right only applies to federal courts.
The government cannot charge you with the same crime twice. This violates double jeopardy. This right protects you from harassment 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.
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. The Fifth Amendment applies to both criminal and civil proceedings in state and federal courts. If you are ever accused of a crime, exercise your right to remain silent. Refrain from discussing your charges with anyone except your attorney. If you would like to learn more about why it is important to remain silent, read our article, why it is important to remain silent.
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 applies to state crimes through the Fourteenth Amendment. The full text of the Fifth Amendment can be reached at Fastcase public legal information.
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.