Can I decline to answer questions about an alleged crime?

The United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate him or her in any legal proceeding. This protection falls under the Fifth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court has held that “The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.” (Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17, 2001)

The investigating authorities may try to convince you that not cooperating with the police may cause trouble or consequences later, but the police are not concerned with the defendant’s best interest. The police many even promise leniency for cooperating, but remember that the police can distort the truth when they are trying to elicit incriminating statements. Law enforcement and the prosecution are not on your side when they are trying to build a case against you. Make sure your legal rights are protected by having a competent Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney on your side.

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