As a witness against a friend who is being tried for felony drug possession, can I invoke the 5th for certain questions which I am afraid may incriminate me?

If I do not have money to retain my own attorney, can I ask for a court appointed attorney to assist me with appropriately pleading the 5th?

Asked on October 2, 2015 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you believe that a certain question will incriminate you personally not your friend of a crime, you may decline to answer it on 5th Amendment grounds. You have to invoke the right question by question for each individual question, that is. 
No, you will not be given a court-appointed attorney for this purpose court-appointed attorneys are only available for eligible persons when they are actually charged with crimes.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.