Occasionally, the victim in a pending domestic violence matter may require the advice of an attorney. One circumstance in which the victim may wish to speak to an attorney is if the victim’s Fifth Amendment rights are implicated. In other words, a victim way want to speak to an attorney if they, by testifying in the criminal proceeding against the defendant, may incriminate themselves.

This often is the case in domestic violence cases, where both parties involved may have engaged in some criminal act, or the victim, in the heat of the moment, may not have accurately relayed the facts to the investigating officers.

If your Fifth Amendment rights are in fact implicated, and you do plead the 5th, you may still be forced to testify if the prosecution grants you immunity. Immunity takes one of two forms: use immunity, where a witness may be prosecuted, but his testimony cant be used against him, and transactional immunity, where the witness is immune from prosecution for offenses related to that testimony.

Kimberly Diego has represented victims in domestic violence cases and would be happy to speak with you about your rights and options should you have any concerns.