49

The original 1913 Revenue Act only required the reporting of income from "lawful" sources. In the 1921 Revenue Act the word, "lawful" was removed requiring all income to be reported. [IRS Publication 17] states: Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, ...


30

Your ability to assert your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is not limited to cases where you are on trial or have been accused of a crime. Your ability to assert that right is also not an absolute bar against being ordered to testify: if you are given immunity, you can be forced to testify. Alice cannot hold Bob in contempt – only the ...


25

In the US, a person is "within their rights" to invoke the Fifth Amendment, i.e. refuse to self-incriminate. However, the government can give a person immunity from prosecution for offenses having to do with the testimony, in which case he can be compelled to testify. A person is not required to guess about whether they could actually be convicted based on ...


18

Nothing below is legal advice. I am not a lawyer. If law enforcement is actually requesting an encryption key, talk to a real lawyer. To answer your first question, the answer is "the government probably can't demand the password, but might be able to demand the data." Some courts have ruled that the Fifth Amendment can prevent courts from forcing someone ...


17

The 5th amendment protects you from self-incrimination. If by possessing a firearm you are in violation of the law you cannot be compelled by law to reveal this information. If the police discover you have a gun in violation of the law you can be arrested and prosecuted for that offense. They cannot additionally prosecute you for not telling them about a gun....


16

The Fifth Amendment always protects someone from being forced to testify against themselves if it would implicate them in a crime (see, among others, Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17). Any person can assert the privilege, regardless of their role in the trial, with the possible exception of the plaintiff (who is the one person who wanted to go to court). Like ...


16

Overview The "right to remain silent " is a feature of US law, inherited, like much of the basic structure of US law, from the British law of the late 1700s. The right is also retained in modern UK law, in a somewhat different form. The laws of many countries that do not inherit their legal system from the English/British source do not include the ...


14

Since you asked, and it's a perfectly legitimate question, here's why it doesn't violate the Fifth Amendment (from Garner v. US): The Fifth Amendment doesn't say "you can't be made to say anything that hurts you." It says "no person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." The only time Fifth Amendment protection applies ...


13

This really depends if Alice's questions are during Direct Examination or Cross Examination. If direct, Alice called Bob to the stand and Bob is testifying to his account of the events in support of Alice's client. Because of this Alice should be asking Bob to speak more on the matters and designed to elicit answers that are Bob's own words. Ordinarily ...


13

[I didn’t see user6726’s excellent answer until after I finished mine. There’s quite a bit overlap — except that he discusses immunity, which I ignore — but I think there’s enough difference that some readers may benefit from seeing both.] TL;DNR: No, you could not “take the 5th” to avoid embarrassment. If you tried and got caught, you’d get in trouble. As ...


12

Current law in the United States on this subject is unsettled. In re Boucher (2009): The United States District Court for the District of Vermont held that if the contents of the encrypted files are generally known to the government, then revealing the encryption key is not self-incrimination, and Fifth Amendment protections do not apply. United States v. ...


12

united-states It is not required for a person to formally assert a fifth- or a first-amendment right when questioned by the police. One can simply be silent, refuse to answer any questions, without giving any reasons. But probably more effective and just as legal is to say "I won't answer any questions until I have talked with a lawyer. I want a lawyer, ...


10

On your tax forms there is a field for how much of you income for the filing year was gained from illegal sources. It pretty much is a check box and then write the dollar value amount and how much of that do you need to write a check for the government for. If Jimmy Jones robs a bank of $1,000,000 (Dr. Evil pose), he can get out of being investigated for ...


8

Civil forfeiture typically pits the government against property, not the government against an individual, and in the US (also anywhere else), only people have rights: property has no rights. The first relevant instance to reach the Supreme Court was an early case, The Palmyra (25 US 1), where a ship was confiscated because it had been used in privateering ...


8

Your assumption is incorrect -- the Bill of Rights proper does not apply to the states, and pre-14th Amendment only bound the federal government. See Barron v. Baltimore, 32 US 243. States could do whatever they wanted, subject to federal legislation on the matters given to the federal government and subject to their own constitutions. After the Civil War, ...


8

If the question asks, "did you do X" where X is or includes a crime that you could be criminally prosecuted for, you can invoke the 5th amendment in refusing to answer that. I have seen that done and seen that objection to the question sustained in court. However, if admitting to X would provide only civil liability, then the 5th would not apply. At ...


7

What prevents someone from pleading the Fifth Amendment, even if they don't necessarily have something that would incriminate themselves if they answered? Immunity. Sometimes prosecutors offer immunity to a witness in exchange for testimony against another defendant. In such cases, the witness cannot claim protection under the fifth amendment because the ...


7

TLDR: the 5th Amendment is big dynamite, almost entirely made of unintended consequences. There are much better ways to do this. Anyway, Bob swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That prohibits him from giving either of the answers he is being railroaded into, so he should say "I cannot answer in this format". Bob needs to ...


7

The reason that the right to remain silent is important can best be demonstrated in the opening set up and later trial that forms the plot of "My Cousin Vinny". In the film, the two defendants are on a Road Trip from Brooklyn, New York City, NY to L.A., California ahead of their Freshman school year. Along their way, the stop for fuel and food ...


6

You're mistaken as to what prosecutorial immunity is and what it means. Prosecutorial immunity is a hybrid of judicial immunity, whereby prosecutors have absolute immunity when acting as an officer of the court in their capacity as an advocate (lawyer) for the state. After probable cause has been established, the "proceeding" phase is said to have begun, and ...


6

It does matter if you invoke your right to silence. First, if you do, that affects what police can do (they have to stop interrogating you). Second, it plays a role in "adoptive admissions". If the police are asking you questions (you are not under arrest) and they make some statement that implies that you committed a crime, your silence can be ...


6

The legal question is whether a tax (state or federal) constitutes a "taking" for purposes of the 5th Amendment eminent domain clause. The Courts have always held that a generally applicable tax does not constitute a taking, so the income tax is not a taking. The Court came to this conclusion because the 5th Amendment takings clause was always ...


6

No Federal law and most states have an notice of alibi rule that requires a defendant to identify witnesses who will testify as to their alibi and where the defendant claims to have been. The validity of these rules was upheld by the Supreme Court in Williams v Florida: The Fifth Amendment would not be violated if, after the alibi witness had given evidence,...


5

Article I, Section 8 of the United States lists the powers of Congress (and a handful a sprinkled elsewhere in the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, such as the power to regulate court jurisdiction in Article III and the enforcement powers of the 13th and 14th Amendments, to give a non-exclusive list). These powers include powers reasonable and ...


5

This is a good question, which I am going to answer from a practical perspective, rather than a theoretical one, which would probably justify a law review article (applications of the takings clause to criminal justice fact patterns is actually one of my pet areas of legal scholarship, but a lot of it calls for dramatic changes in established practice and ...


5

As far as I know, the leading case on the matter is Hale v. Henkel, 201 US 43. There, the court explains While an individual may lawfully refuse to answer incriminating questions unless protected by an immunity statute, a corporation is a creature of the State, and there is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and find ...


5

Lawyers may break confidentiality with client permission. You can also break your own confidentiality and talk to the prosecutor yourself. The prosecutor's response is up to the prosecutor; however, they tend to not be super excited about giving immunity to a witness for the defense if they might want to prosecute the witness later (and courts often are fine ...


5

If the owner of the computer has been arrested and is the subject of a criminal investigation, he can not be forced to give the police a password because it is a violation of his rights protected by the 5th amendment. A typical Miranda warning includes the language You have the right to remain silent (when being questioned). Analysis Kirschner and Doe ...


5

An existing law actually prohibits using census data "against" a person, see this recent question. The 5th Amendment ("nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself") is not interpreted to imply an absolute privilege to not answer, it means that your answer cannot be used against you in a criminal case. You can be compelled to ...


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