General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Can a witness ever be required to testify?

Asked by ninjacolin (14224points) April 11th, 2010

if so, in what countries?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Most definitely. To refuse to testify usuallly results in jail time for “contempt of court.” Some states make exceptions that a spouse cannot be compelled to testify against their spouse.

ninjacolin's avatar

so, they can be punished for not testifying?

dpworkin's avatar

Absolutely. They can be charged with contempt of court, and arrested for failing to comply.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

Of course. If a witness refuses to testify, they can be subpoenaed. Yes, they can be punished if they refuse to testify.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

They can always plead the fifth in questioning, but they can be made to appear.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

They call that a subpoena. Happens all the time in the US.

davidk's avatar

This only applies to the US. The process is similar in Britain, France and Switzerland too. Beyond those countries I’m not sure…

Only the accused can “Plead the 5th (Amendment)” and this does not apply to Civil cases.

In federal cases, a witness that refuses to testify (whether in criminal or civil matters) is subject to fine, an obstruction of justice charge, and in some cases the Attorney General may simply imprison the unwilling witness until he/she comes around.

thriftymaid's avatar

In the USA, yes.

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