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exculpatory no doctrine n: a doctrine in federal criminal law: an individual cannot be charged with making a false statement if the statement is a false denial of guilt made in response to a federal investigator's question NOTE: This doctrine is based on the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and is often used as a defense to a charge of knowingly making a false statement. The doctrine is recognized in most federal Courts of Appeals.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.