If I am the victim and have been subpoenaed as a witness to testify in court tomorrow morning, can I plead the fifth?

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If I am the victim and have been subpoenaed as a witness to testify in court tomorrow morning, can I plead the fifth?

I did give a brief statement the night of the crime but I did not sign anything.

Asked on February 24, 2014 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the subject matter and the nature of your testimony.  Pleading the Fifth, refers to the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.  You don't have to testify if it may inculpate you in some criminal activity. It is not a tool to avoid testifying because you are scared or simply wish not to testify.   


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