LAW 545-001 – Evidence

Self-Incrimination


Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is implicated when the evidence is:

  1. Used for criminal liability against the declarant
  2. Testimonial
    • Forcing one to disclose the contents of his mind
  3. Compelled by the government
    • Business records are ordinarily not compelled by the government.
      • It can be though if the government cannot describe the incriminating documents with reasonable particularity. United States v. Hubbell.
    • Required Records

      The Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination does not apply to required records.

      For the required-records doctrine to apply:

      1. The purpose of the regulatory scheme must be essentially regulatory.
      2. The records must be of a kind customarily kept.
      3. The records must have acquired "public aspects."
Immunity
Use Immunity

Use immunity protects one from prosecution from one's testimony. The testimony cannot be used against him.

Transactional Immunity

Transactional immunity is a broader form of immunity that grants total immunity from prosecution for the crimes discussed.