In criminal law, self-incrimination is the act of exposing oneself generally, by making a statement, "to an accusation or charge of crime; to involve oneself or another [person] in a criminal prosecution or the danger thereof".[1] (Self-incrimination can occur either directly or indirectly: directly, by means of interrogation where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed; or indirectly, when information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed voluntarily without pressure from another person).[2]

In many legal systems, accused criminals cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves—they may choose to speak to police or other authorities, but they cannot be punished for refusing to do so. There are 108 countries and jurisdictions that currently issue legal warnings to suspects, which include the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel.[3] These laws are not uniform across the world; however, members of the European Union have developed their laws around the EU's guide.[4]

  1. ^ Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed.). 1979. p. 690.
  2. ^ Siegel, Larry J. (2017). Essentials of criminal justice. Worrall, John L. (Tenth ed.). Australia. ISBN 978-1305633766. OCLC 960166637.
  3. ^ Aftergood, Steven. "The Right to Remain Silent Around the World". Federation of American Scientists.
  4. ^ "Miranda Warning Equivalents" (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. The Law Library of Congress. Retrieved 24 March 2018.