Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives individuals the right to refuse to answer any questions or make any statements, when to do so would help establish that the person committed a crime or is connected to any criminal activity. This right is also known as the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, which is invoked when someone is said to "plead the Fifth".
Can a Criminal Defendant be Forced to Testify at Trial?
At trial, the Fifth Amendment gives a criminal defendant the right not to testify. This means that the prosecutor, the judge, and even the defendant's lawyer cannot force the defendant to take the witness stand at trial, if he or she does not want to do so. Furthermore, when a defendant exercises his or her right not to testify, the jury is not permitted to take that refusal into consideration when deciding whether the defendant is guilty of the crime(s) charged.
It is important to note that, once a defendant does take the stand and testify at trial, he or she cannot ordinarily choose to answer some questions but not others. Rather, the defendant's Fifth Amendment privilege is deemed waived through the act of testifying.
Does the Privilege Apply to Fingerprints and Blood Tests?
The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does ensure that a defendant in a criminal case cannot be forced to testify and "be a witness against himself or herself". But it does not apply when a defendant is fingerprinted, or made to provide a DNA sample in connection with a criminal case. In other words, a defendant may not refuse to submit to these procedures by asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege.
Who Can Claim the Fifth Amendment Privilege at Trial?
At a criminal trial, it is not only the defendant who enjoys the Fifth Amendment privilege. Witnesses who are asked to testify can refuse to answer certain questions by asserting their Fifth Amendment rights, if to answer would implicate them in any type of criminal activity. Unlike defendants in a criminal case, who have the right not to take the witness stand at all, a witness may be forced to testify (by subpoena or other means) but may exercise his or her Fifth Amendment right by refusing to answer certain questions.
[Note: The Fifth Amendment also provides the basis for an individual's "Miranda" rights while in police custody.]

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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