Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Fifth Amendment Definition:

A US Constitution article which provides fundamental rights in regards to legal process such as the immunity in regards to self incrimination.

Related Terms: Double Jeopardy, Fourth Amendment, First Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Petite Policy

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Part of a comprehensive ten-part amendment in 1791 to the 1787 Constitution of the United States and which presents, inter alia, an immunity against self-incrimination.

The text of the Fifth Amendment is:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Considerable life has been breathed into this legal text by US Courts as clarifications on points of detail or limits have been set in regards to due process, acquittals, double jeopardy, bankruptcy and eminent domain.

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