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Federal Witness testimony at criminal trial

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viking1142

Guest
us attorney is calling my friend, next week,to federal court to testify against her own sister....her sister's attorney wants my friend to testify..will this make my friend a hostile witness to the u.s. attorney....and, would it not be wise for my friend to take the 5th amendmendment....there seems to be no concern for my friend's personal liberty by either the u.s attorney's office or the defense attorney....
 


I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by viking1142:
us attorney is calling my friend, next week,to federal court to testify against her own sister....her sister's attorney wants my friend to testify..will this make my friend a hostile witness to the u.s. attorney....and, would it not be wise for my friend to take the 5th amendmendment....there seems to be no concern for my friend's personal liberty by either the u.s attorney's office or the defense attorney....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


My response:

If this is testimony in front of a Federal Grand Jury, convened by the prosecutor in order to obtain an Indictment, then the 5th Amendment is NOT available. She'll have to testify against her sister, or suffer contempt and jail charges. Additionally, and while the sister can have her own attorney there, the attorney's role at a Grand Jury inquest is merely as an observer, and cannot say anything or do anything.

The 5th Amendment is only available at trial, and only if the sister was involved in a crime that, by testifying at trial, would tend to incriminate herself - - only at trial - - that's where the sister's attorney comes in.

IAAL

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