may i use my fifth amendment rights if subpoena to court as a witness

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may i use my fifth amendment rights if subpoena to court as a witness

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The fifth amendment to the United States constitution provides protection against self-incrimination.  Therefore, if your testimony would potentially expose you to criminal liability, it is possible that you would be able to cite to the protection of the fifth amendment in refusing to testify with respect to the incriminating statements.  However, the fifth amendment is not available to witnesses in a variety of other circumstances.  Nevertheless, if you feel that you do not want to testify, for any reason, but anticipate receiving a subpoena, I strongly recommend that you consult with and/or retain an attorney to protect your interests in this matter.


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