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How to Assert Your Constitutional Right to Not Self-Incriminate, Pleading the "Fifth." In the post 9/11 world rights that protected individuals from expanded government authority have been encroached upon, beaten and battered to the point where they are almost seem non-existent. However, they do still exist and you may still assert them. The Fifth Amendment, as you can see above, establishes a lot of protections for someone who has been accused of a crime. The intention at the time was to prevent force or coercion, but now also protects individuals who are impaired and unable to understand what they are consenting to. You have the right to remain silent and not be a witness against yourself. I’ve spoken briefly about this subject when discussing the iPhone case and encryption, but it’s also applicable to any questioning being performed by police—you are not bound to speak or deliver evidence such as passcodes, where you were, who you spoke to etc. Moreover, as a criminal lawyer it is my job to advise people to maintain their right to silence and never speak with the police because it never helps and has the potential to severely hurt you in the long run. While I realize that criminal attorneys are expensive and that the court won’t appoint one until you have been brought to your first hearing, but it is well worth it to have an attorney go with you should police call you in for any type of questioning. As a criminal defense lawyer in Pasadena I understand being charged of a crime for the first time can be an extremely stressful and frightening experience. Any criminal defense attorney will tell you that while every case presents its own set of unique circumstances, having a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can help you win your particular case. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the most effective way in getting you the justice you deserve. In the interest of protecting and helping you, the accused, in California, the Law Office of Tom R. Medrano will explain the process for protecting yourself and obtaining favorable results for your criminal case.

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