We are afforded many rights here in the United States that other places around the world don’t enjoy. Thanks to the Constitution, we have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and more. Unfortunately, not everyone is looking out for our rights.
From big rights violations to the everyday violations that take place regarding your privacy, it’s important to know your rights, and it’s even more important to know how to protect them.
You may have jokingly invoked your right to stay silent or told your friends that you plead the fifth when they ask you a question you don’t want to answer. It’s important to understand that this is a real ability that can be useful in real life.
Thanks to the Fifth Amendment, you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re testifying before congress, giving a deposition in a criminal case, or you’re testifying in a civil case. You can refuse to speak, and if the court compels you to testify, you can invoke your Fifth Amendment right.
Whether you are asked to provide texting records that could demonstrate that you were partially at fault in a car accident or you’re in court for a small civil dispute between yourself and a neighbor, you do not have to share any information that could incriminate you. Make sure you work with an attorney to exercise this right so that you do it legally.
There are a lot of rights that are afforded to citizens thanks to the Constitution. By extension, there are many other national and local laws that can protect you in both your personal and professional life. In order to take advantage of those rights, you need to make sure you document important information.
Dealing with harassment at work? Keep a running document of incidents and times so you can bring proof to your boss. Is your ex often late to pick up the kids? Document every time they are late and by how much so you can present it to the court during your next child custody hearing. Dealing with a product that isn’t working right? Document the faults you’re experiencing and report them to the company. Documentation is hard to dispute, so it’s always a good way to prove your point and preserve your rights.
Big tech is pushing the boundaries of what’s legal and what’s not because the law hasn’t quite caught up to everything tech can do. Instead of handing over your information on a silver platter and hoping nothing bad happens, secure your data.
There are multiple ways you can do this. They include:
It’s also important to tone down your behavior on social media. All the information, including images, that you upload to social media sites can be used in ways that you wouldn’t approve of. It’s much better to limit what you say and do online to keep your personal information safe.
When was the last time you read the fine print? It’s your right to slow down and read it!
Companies and others are required to be transparent about products, services, and contract terms, but they can be sneaky about it. By reading the fine print, you can discover hidden fees, you can opt out of giving companies your data to use however they wish, and it can alert you to the possibility that a corporation may be able to force you to pay the company’s legal fees in the case of a lawsuit.
Disturbed by some of the changes that are taking place in your community? Are you worried about the laws that are being passed in your state? Or maybe you have your sights set on regulations at the national level? One of the best ways to preserve your rights is to be more politically active!
Voting is only one way to get involved in government. Other ways include:
Don’t assume that others will respect your rights. It’s your job to be aware of your rights so you can do what it takes to preserve them.