A police investigation can be a scary and intimidating experience. Law enforcement will use all sorts of tactics in order to get a confession from the accused. Sometimes, they will even present themselves to be on their side and ask for their side of the story so they can help.
But people should not fall for this. In fact, many individuals are sitting behind bars right now because they took on that proposition and told the police their side of the story.
Your Side of the Story vs. Your Defense
While a trial can be likened to a quest to uncover the truth, it is more so a competition between two stories. Depending on the facts of the case, the evidence presented, and the arguments made, only one side of the story prevails.
In criminal cases, the State has to prove its story beyond a reasonable doubt. And contrary to popular belief, the accused does not tell their actual story. Instead they respond to the States accusations with the other side of the story. In short, their defense becomes their story.
Telling Your Story is Self-Incrimination
Even a defendant in a criminal case is protected by their fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. And telling their story, whether to the police officer or in court violates that right.
When an accused tells their side of the story, they are giving the police officers and the State the license to change, exaggerate, and delete parts of it. This can severely mess up the facts of the case and hurt their chances of acquittal.
The Only Person Who Can Know Your Side of the Story
An accused side of the story should be protected at all costs. The only person who can know about it is their defense lawyer. Their attorney, who has their best interest at heart, will figure out how the story best serves the accused and present it in a way that advocates for their life and liberty.
Anyone involved in a criminal case should remember that police officers or State prosecutors are not their friends. These are the people trying to put them behind bars and take away their freedom. So they should never know the accused's side of the story.
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