People often do not speak when accused of a crime in order to avoid saying something that may be used against him or her. In the event that a person does reveal a certain fact or statement that implicates him or her, it is said to be self-incrimination. This may be done for various reasons, one of which may be to save the individual from a more severe sentencing or punishment.
A person who wishes to self-incriminate may do so without suffering the consequences of the legal system. A firm immunity may be given to an individual, which will then provide the person with a guarantee that he or she will not be punished if he or she admits to having done a criminal act.
Another manner in which a self-incrimination may not lead to severe punishment is through a guilty plea. If a person wishes to address a charge by claiming to be guilty, a guilty plea is filed with the court. This may lead to a less severe sentencing since the person admitted to having done the criminal act before the prosecution had the opportunity to prove that he or she has done so.
However, most cases of self-incrimination do lead to the actual, commensurate punishment. When a person undergoes an arrest, the Miranda Rights are read to inform the person that he or she has the right to remain silent. But there are those who choose not to do so, eventually implicating themselves and proving themselves guilty.