Quite often, the respondent in a Jacksonville Domestic Violence Injunction Hearing will also have a criminal case pending at the same time. Therefore, he or she will be reluctant to defend at the Jacksonville Injunction hearing due to a fear of jeopardizing the criminal case. However, there are remedies. The respondent may be able to obtain a continuance until after the criminal case is resolved. Otherwise, the respondent can testify and invoke the fifth amendment’s right against self incrimination. As long as the respondent does not testify on direct-examination about the matters pertaining to the criminal charge, he or she cannot be forced to testify on cross-examination about the alleged Jacksonville crime. Since “the right to be free from self-incrimination is a fundamental principle secured by the Fifth Amendment, waiver of the privilege will not be lightly inferred, and courts will generally indulge every reasonable presumption against finding a waiver.” Jenkins v. Wessel, 780 So. 2d 1006, 1007 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (citing State v. Spiegel, 710 So. 2d 13, 16 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998).
For more information, read The Fifth Amendment is Used to Prevent People From Being Forced to Testify about Criminal Matters in Florida Hearings.