After your arrest, you might face pressure from a number of people to behave a certain way or say specific things. Complying with everyone’s wishes or even casually discussing your situation could jeopardize your safety, however.
Confessing because you feel like you have to could unnecessarily incriminate you. The outcome could overthrow your freedom and cause long-term damage to your image.
Know your rights
Even while awaiting trial, you have rights. You deserve respect and you have the right to a fair trial. According to Cornell Law School, it is against the law for anyone to force you to confess. The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination in the following ways:
- You can refuse to testify at trial
- You can refuse to answer questions
- You can refuse to say anything incriminating
When you know your rights, you can better protect yourself against self-incrimination. You can allow the law to dictate your outcome rather than manipulating it and risking your freedom.
Wait for guidance
People might approach you inquiring about your involvement in an alleged crime. This could include media professionals, private investigators and even your family and friends. However, use caution when discussing your situation. Recognize that now is a sensitive time with your freedom at stake. Before you say anything to anyone, consult with your legal team.
Make sure you understand how to protect yourself. Take notes about what you should and should not say. Never answer anyone’s questions if you do not feel comfortable and have not received clearance from your legal team. The care you exercise during this time in which you are highly vulnerable might be the only reason you have a fair chance at trial.