Skip to main content

Can I plead the 5TH

Covington, TN |

My boyfriend and I are both bi~polar he got on his meds and the next night got drunk while on them he physically assualted me and did unimaginable things before calling the police on himself I did not right a statement but did file for an order of protection where they had me write what happend when I tried to drop everything the District Attourney told me the state was gonna pick up the charges and I have to testify against him and if I dont state everything the way it happend he would charge me for perjury I have been on 3 week drinking binge and do not remember all of that night what do I need to do

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


The 5th amendment provides you with the right to refuse to testify where that testimony would incriminate you, not where it would incriminate somebody else. Unless something in your testimony could incriminate you, you have no basis to claim the 5th.

If you are concerned your testimony may incriminate you, you should consult with an attorney in your area and explore the possibility of negotiating an immunity agreement.

This answer does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney client relationship. I am not your lawyer. If you have a legal issue in Tennessee you may contact me for a free consult.


I agree with Mr. Long. The 5th only keeps you from incriminating yourself and you can be compelled to testify truthfully. I would contact a criminal defense attorney near you to assist you with this.

"Nothing in this communication is meant to establish an attorney-client relationship. The information is provided for educational purposes only. No action will be taken on your behalf unless you have have hired me and entered into a written retainer agreement. I am only licensed in Tennessee and I suggest contacting an attorney in your specific city and state as soon as possible to avoid any statute of limitations deadlines, if applicable."


You can "plead the 5th" if what you say will incriminate you. If you cannot recall the events, then testify that you cannot recall. It would be extremely difficult to prove that you do recall. You can't be threatened into recalling what you don't.


You need to be very careful with this so you dont get charged with false police report. If you need legal representation, please call or email us if you would like to talk about this.
Claiborne Ferguson

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Esq. is * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.


If you have made a statement to the police and a report has been filed based on the information you have been provided and you testify differently, you could be charged with either filing a false report or aggravated perjury, both of which are felonies. The State can prosecute on your behalf even if you believe that the charges should be dropped. You can however ask for leniency based upon his mental health issues.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer