One habit some people have when they become anxious is talking a lot. What they say may not be related to what’s happening, but it isn’t often an issue in normal conversations. However, talking to the police can create a lot of anxiety for people, which can lead to legal trouble.
A driver may be pulled over by the police, for example, under the suspicion of drunk driving. The police may ask the driver questions, such as if they were drinking, which helps them gather evidence. The driver may not be drunk or have been drinking alcohol, but anxiously talking could lead to self-incrimination.
People who are afraid that their anxious talking will get them in legal trouble may need to learn about their constitutional rights. Here’s what you should know:
Understand your right to plead the Fifth
Under the Fifth Amendment, people have protection against self-incriminating comments. Self-incriminating comments can be anything that might suggest involvement in a crime.
People who talk because they’re anxious may say something that might lead the police to suspect the driver committed a crime. A driver who is afraid they might make a self-incriminating comment may plead the Fifth. Pleading the Fifth is a general response to questions that essentially tell the police that the person is exercising their constitutional rights and will not answer any further questions.
While many people understand that they can plead the Fifth, they often don’t. This may be because many people believe that pleading the Fifth is an admission to guilt. While it’s true that people who have committed crimes plead the Fifth, this constitutional right also protects people who haven’t committed crimes. Many innocent people are charged with crimes they did not do because of something minor they said.
The Fifth Amendment is in place to protect people. People who are being questioned and accused of criminal activities also have the right to a legal defense.