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Am I legally obligated to testify against someone?

I'm scared they will get back at me if they wind up not getting sentenced. Can't I just walk up to judge and say I plead the 5th? Do I need a lawyer if I'm going to refuse to talk? Will the DA threaten me with charges in order to get me to talk?


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    Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    343 East Main Street, Suite 314
    Stockton, CA 95202
    (209) 463-9715
    It appears that you are a witness. If you are served properly with a subpoena, you must go to court. You may not refuse to answer a question based on the 5th amendment unless the answer could cause you to be prosecuted for a crime. If the answer only causes you concern, you need to answer the question. If you fail to answer the question., the judge can order you to , if you still refuse, the court can put you in jail until 1) you agree to answer questions or 2) the trial is over.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 3/14/2013
    Terry Nelson | Nelson & Lawless
    2134 Main St., #130
    Huntington Beach, CA 92648
    (714) 960-7584
    You can be subpoenaed and compelled to testify upon threat of contempt and jail for refusal. Talk to the DA about your fear of harm, so he can get protective orders issued for you.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 3/13/2013
    Mari Morrison | Mari Morrison Attorney at Law
    PO Box 36783
    Birmingham, AL 35236
    (205) 982-8515
    Not eligible for the Fifth since there is no threat of jail time for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama - Replied: 3/13/2013
    Patrick Mahaney | Law Office of Patrick Mahaney
    8244 Old Federal Road
    Montgomery, AL 36117
    (334) 277-3974
    Yes, you are legally required to testify in a criminal case against another person. You cannot assert the 5th Amendment privilege - that privilege only applies to the defendant, and not to a witness. If you refuse to testify, you can be held (and probably will be held) in contempt of court and ordered to jail for refusing a court's order. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama - Replied: 3/13/2013
    Lawrence Lewis, PC | Lawrence Lewis
    242 Culver Street, Suite103
    Lawrenceville, GA 30045
    (678) 407-9300
    When you plead the 5th, the prosecutor will give you immunity, then when you refuse to testify you will be jailed for contempt.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia - Replied: 3/13/2013
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