You’re Right to Invoke the Fifth Amendment
“No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This Fifth Amendment right is extremely important, and at one time was unique to our justice system. Invoking the right does not mean you are guilty, nor may such an inference be drawn. Your King County criminal attorney will explain further when, and if, you should invoke the right, but the following should give you an idea of how it often is applied.
Scope of the Right
The range of situations in which you may invoke your Fifth Amendment right is broad. The “criminal case” described in this part of the Bill of Rights includes all situations in which your case may be heard in court, including:
Not only are you protected from testifying to a fact that incriminates you in the domestic violence charge; you need not answer questions that are a link in a chain of argument against you.
Why Plead the Fifth?
Certainly if you are guilty of the domestic violence charge, your King County criminal attorney will instruct you not to answer questions that will be self-incriminating. However, even if you are innocent, prosecutors have a way of weaving your answers into their argument to make you appear guilty. Why give the state ammunition against you?
Neither the judge nor prosecutors are allowed to argue that your invoking of this right signals your guilt. Moreover, when jurors are given instructions prior to deliberation, they are told they are cannot use such a plea to draw a conclusion of guilt.
Call for Legal Assistance
If you are charged with domestic violence, call a King County criminal attorney who will fight for you.