If a witness is testifying in a Civil Trial involving a law suit in which he or she is not the actual plaintiff or the defendant, can he or she use fifth amendment rights to refuse to answer a question on the stand?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes, if the witness believes the question could incriminate him or her or lead to evidence that would be incriminating, the witness has the right to remain silent. I would recommend that if the witness expects this to be an issue, he or she should go consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer now in order to fully understand how this process works. The witness may only need to object to one or two questions, but it is possible that the witness needs to refuse to answer any questions at all. I would suggest having an attorney there to help with making the right objections.