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When I testify can I answer some of the da's questions and take the 5th on other questions?

San Diego, CA |

I want to tell as much of my side as possible but if i tell the whole story i will incriminate myself. Can I take the 5th on some questions and answer some questions?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Are you the defendant? If you are the defendant I would advise you not o testify. If you are a witness you have to answer questions that are asked or you can be held in contempt. If you think you might incriminate yourself you might want to talk to an attorney prior to testifying and they might advise you not testify. You can ask the court to appoint an attorney to advise you prior to your testimony.


  2. Asserting 5th Amendment rights during testimony is a complex and risky analysis and you simply must have counsel in order to properly exercise any rights to refuse to answer.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. You must have counsel to determine when to assert the fifth. This is a very tricky area and you could place yourself in a potential jeopardizing situation. It does not sound like you were charged. Get an attorney .


  4. Quite simply, no. As the saying goes, "In for a penny, in for a pound." You don't get to select what questions you will answer and which ones you won't. However, you should talk with your attorney regarding other methods to get your story across. Have your attorney explain to you what other witnesses or evidence supports you and can tell the story without you having to take the stand. Feel free to call my office for a free consultation if you have any further questions or concerns. Good luck.