Question about 5th amendment laws in this type of case.

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  1. #1

    Question about 5th amendment laws in this type of case.

    For my story, basically a woman is kidnapped and found by police later. The police arrest a suspect but they will probably want to get a sample of his voice for the woman to see if she will identify him as a voice she heard, while held captive.

    However, are the police allowed to get a court order to get an a suspect to give a voice sample? They can get court orders for suspects to surrender DNA evidence, if they want but can they get a court order to get a voice sample, or would that fall under fifth amendment rights and they cannot?

  2. #2
    I am not a legal expert by any means but the following seems logical to me. The 5th amendment guarantees that you cannot be forced to bear witness against yourself nor must you consent to a search. You have the right to remain silent. So you cannot be forced to give a voice sample. You do not have to consent to a search so you do not have to hand over any recorded voice samples as evidence if they are your own personal property. Nor could a voice sample be used if it is recorded without your consent after the charge has been laid. However, it is reasonable to assume, that any voice sample that is already in the public domain (that you do not own) could be used as evidence, as long as it can be proven to be your voice. But if that voice sample was taken without your knowledge, no matter when it was taken, you would have a strong argument to exclude it as evidence.

  3. #3
    Oh okay, I wasn't sure, cause the police are allowed to get warrants to get samples of other bodily evidence, such as blood and DNA, so I thought maybe they could get a voice sample as well, since it's a bodily thing, and the courts are allowed to get warrants for other bodily evidence to be turned over.

  4. #4
    An easy google search reveals that voice samples have been consistently ruled by US courts to be subject to search warrants the same as fingerprints or dna. If it's something you know, it's privileged. If it's something you are, it's not.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

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