Since I have been a criminal defense lawyer , I still don’t understand why people accused of a crime talk to police officers or do not exercise their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. We should all follow the actions of a sitting Tennessee judge. Hawkins County Tennessee Judge James Taylor recently invoked his rights of self incrimination several times in a judicial complaint. Judge Taylor is alleged of committing theft.
First , the Fifth Amendment does not cover most police interactions. So , you don’t have to give a statement to police at the scene of a traffic stop or consent to an interview by a police officer . The Fifth Amendments protects a person…. against being incriminated by his own compelled testimonial communications. To receive Fifth Amendment protection , a person’s statement or act must (1) be compelled (2) be testimonial ; (3) incriminate the person in a criminal proceeding.The protection enables a defendant to refuse to testify at a criminal trial or answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal where the answers might incriminate him in future proceedings.
So take a lesson from the judge and keep your mouth shut.