Legal English 14

11. A Police Officer Wants to Talk to Me About a Crime That I Took Part in. Is It Ever a Good Idea to Try to Talk My Way out of It?

Usually, no. The Golden Rule of Defense is that suspects who think that they may be implicated in a crime should keep their mouths tightly shut. Suspects all too frequently unwittingly reveal information that later can be used as evidence of guilt. The right to not incriminate oneself guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is especially powerful in this situation, and a suspect should politely decline to answer questions, at least until consulting with an attorney.

12. A Police Officer Wants to Ask me About a Crime That a Friend or Relative of Mine Committed. What Do I Risk by Providing False Information?

A lot. When an individual lies to the police or otherwise intentionally assists a known criminal to avoid arrest, he or she may be charged as an "accessory after the fact." Obviously, the decision as to whether to furnish information leading to the arrest of a relative or close friend is a personal one. However, a person who chooses not to do so should simply decline to answer an officer’s questions rather than lie. Rarely, if ever, would an individual who simply declines to give information to a police officer qualify as an "accessory after the fact."

Case Example: Cain comes running into his brother Abel’s house, and tells Abel that he, Cain, just robbed a market and that the police might be on his tail. A few minutes later, a police officer knocks on Abel’s door and asks him if Cain is in the house. Abel responds, "No, he left town permanently to go back east weeks ago."

Question: Is Abel subject to criminal prosecution?

1.implicate 牵涉,牵连

2.accessory after the fact 事后从犯

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