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Fifth Amendment-Protection When Detained by CBP

By May 13, 2024No Comments

Fifth Amendment-Protection When Detained by CBP

Crossing the U.S. border? It’s crucial to understand your rights as a traveler. One of the most important is the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, protecting you from self-incrimination.

What Does the Fifth Amendment Say?

The Fifth Amendment states that no one can be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself  and cannot be deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

You have the right to remain silent and not answer questions from a CBP officer about your trip or immigration status. You also have the right to have an attorney present during questioning.

When to Remain Silent?

Exercise your right as soon as you’re detained and questioned about your travel or immigration status. You don’t need to wait for them to specifically ask if you want to remain silent.

Simply state: “I would like to exercise my right to remain silent and have an attorney present.” Speak calmly and respectfully, even if nervous.

What Happens if You Don't Remain Silent?

Anything you say can be used against you in court if you choose to answer CBP questions.

Having an attorney present during CBP questioning is highly recommended. They can help you understand your rights and protect your interests. If detained without an attorney? You can request a CBP officer to help you contact one. You can also request to speak with your country’s consulate.

Remember, you have rights as a traveler, and the Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination. When detained by CBP, exercise your right to remain silent and have an attorney present.

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