By me being a witness, can I pled the fifth? 5 Answers as of June 23, 2014

I'm a witness in a court case. I am not sure if it's a criminal case or misdemeanor case. I was involved in this case a year ago and I was charged with breach of peace. My case is now over. But now the other person is being charged.

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
This depends on how your case ended. Did you plead guilty? Or was the matter dismissed without prejudice? If the first then you can't take the fifth. The second scenario then you can take the fifth.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/23/2014
Elhart & Horvath, P.C.
Elhart & Horvath, P.C. | Mattias Johnson
A common expression used when someone invokes his or her Fifth Amendment right that protects from self-incrimination, pleading the fifth prevents you from being forced to testify against yourself during a criminal trial. This right is most typically reserved for a criminal defendant, but witnesses may also use this tactic in some situations. Witnesses may also choose to plead the fifth when they take the stand. Unlike the defendant, however, witnesses can be forced to testify (usually through a subpoena). As a result, a witness can choose which questions he or she feels comfortable answering. If a witness refuses to answer specific questions, the prosecutor in the case may offer him or her immunity in exchange for his or her testimony. This means that, should the witness?s testimony include any details that incriminate him or herself, the prosecutor will not charge the witness with a crime. In cases where immunity is not an option, prosecutors may be willing to reduce the charges in exchange for a full testimony. So, to answer your question, if the testimony that you will be giving is not self-incriminating (e.g. against your penal interest), you will probably be forced to testify.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/16/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
This is not an easy question, and I would suggest you confer with an attorney. If your case is over, and there is no possibility of your self-incrimination, or you are granted immunity for further prosecution, then the 5th does not apply.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/16/2014
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Pleading the fifth is used so one does not incriminate themself, and later be charged for an offense. Here you stated you were charged for breach of peace. If there is another crime that you could be charged for different from the breach proceed with caution. You must testify if required. If you do not recall an answer, say so.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/16/2014
Law Offices of Ezra N. Goldman
Law Offices of Ezra N. Goldman | Ezra Goldman
First, you should know that a misdemeanor IS a criminal case. Second, the answer is no. Since your case is over, they cant charge you based on your testimony. Therefore, things you say can not incriminate you. The 5th amendment does not apply. The exception would be if you could conceivably be charged in federal court or in another state over the same thing. Then, you would once again have a 5th amendment right not to say things that will get you in trouble elsewhere.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/16/2014
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