Pleading The Fifth: Five Things You Should Never Say To A Policeman

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IMany people are familiar with the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment has been incorporated into the Miranda rights that are typically read to people taken into custody by policemen. People sometimes say things to policemen that they probably shouldn't. With that in mind, here are a few things that you should never say during an arrest:

1. "I'm Only A Little Drunk"

One of the worst things you can say to a police office, particularly after getting pulled over for a suspected DUI is: "I'm only a little drunk." By saying those things, you will have just incriminated yourself. You will have admitted that you are indeed drunk, or that you chose to consume alcohol and drive, thus driving under the influence. If you want to try and prove you're not drunk, just plead the fifth or agree to take a sobriety test or blood alcohol test at the hospital, depending on what the policeman wants you to do.

2. "I Didn't Do It"

Even if you are indeed innocent of the crime that you have been accused of, telling the police that you didn't commit the crime makes you seem less credible. Why? Because it seems like you are just trying to get out of being arrested or put into jail. If you are accused of committing a crime, even if you didn't commit it, the best thing that you can do is just comply with the arresting officer's requests, and then make a phone call to an attorney when you get to the jail. The less belligerent or guilty you make yourself appear, the better the outcome will be.

3. "I Know My Rights"

Telling a policeman you know your rights is like beating a dead horse. If you start resisting arrest, yelling and screaming about how you know your rights, things won't look good for you. Resisting arrest is a crime in and of itself. Secondly, you will look belligerent, which just makes you look all the more guilty. In most cases, if a person is acting belligerent during arrest, it is probably because they are guilty, and the police will consider what you're saying an admission of guilt to one extent or another.

4. "That's Not Mine"

When people get arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, one of the things the suspects usually say is, "That's not mine." Saying that won't help your case in any way.  If it's not in your pocket but they find it in your car or another part of your property and it really isn't yours, you can tell that to an attorney later on, but you should not say that to the police. Even when saying it to an attorney, you have to find a way to make your story believable so you don't sound crazy.

5. "I Didn't Know"

Let's say you get arrested for doing something that you didn't know was a crime. Just because you didn't know something was illegal doesn't absolve you of guilt. If you feel that you must make such a statement, your attorney is the person to tell that to, not the arresting officer.

Even if jail seems inevitable, you should still never say any of the above things to a police officer when he or she places you under arrest. If you truly want to avoid incriminating yourself, then just exercise your fifth amendment rights and say nothing until you get an attorney.


If you have other questions, try contacting a firm like the Law Office of Jeffrey Dragon with your concerns.