Fifth Amendment Right Against Self Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, commonly referred to as the right to remain silent, is a criminal defendant’s or a witness’s constitutional guarantee that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The right against self incrimination not only applies in criminal cases but to any testimony that might lead to criminal prosecution or might be used in a criminal prosecution. The self incrimination protection has to be asserted to be realized. Although the right against self incrimination is usually asserted in criminal cases, a person can also assert that right (referred to as “Taking the Fifth”) in civil, legislative, administrative, judicial, investigatory, or grand jury proceedings.
If you have been investigated or charged with a crime and have made statements to the police, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine whether your right against self incrimination has been violated.