Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

During a murder trial wherein a woman was standing trial for the murder of her husband, her defense attorney accused their clients daughter as the one who had murdered her father. The daughter, however, had an ironclad alibi as she was with her aunt miles away at the time of the murder.

When the daughter was on the witness stand and was asked if she had murdered her father, she took the Fifth Amendment.

If a person has an ironclad alibi and couldn't have done the crime, how can she take the 5th? I've always thought that you have to be involved in a crime to take the 5th to avoid answering questions and not just that you don't want to answer the question.

Asked on 4/30/13, 5:56 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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The 5th protects people against self incrimination, in addition to including a clause known as the "takings" clause. Neither of the two clauses have anything to do with each other.

Maybe she would have incriminated herself as to another crime. You're looking at the murder, but maybe she was an accomplice after the fact, or was guilty of obstruction of justice.

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5/06/13, 7:32 pm

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