The Fifth Amendment expresses the right to be free from self-incrimination. This clause has been interpreted to mean that defendants and suspects do not have to talk to the police and can invoke their right to remain silent when in custody. In order to remind defendants on this right, the police are required to read the Miranda Warning to all those placed under arrest.
Furthermore, the Fifth Amendment also means that a defendant does not have to testify against him or herself at trial. The jury is required to make its decision about the merits of the case based on the evidence presented, and may not discriminate against the defendant because he or she chose not to take the stand.
Procedure is extremely important in criminal defense cases. If you suspect that the New Jersey police failed to read you your Miranda warning or otherwise violated your constitutional rights, consult the Law Office of Walter K. Schreyer by calling (201) 383-4256.