5th amendment



noun
an amendment to the u.s. const-tution, ratified in 1791 as part of the bill of rights, providing chiefly that no person be required to testify against himself or herself in a criminal case and that no person be subjected to a second trial for an offense for which he or she has been duly tried previously.
fifth amendment
noun
an amendment to the us const-tution stating that no person may be compelled to testify against himself and that no person may be tried for a second time on a charge for which he has already been acquitted
(us) take the fifth, take the fifth amendment, to refuse to answer a question on the grounds that it might incriminate oneself

one of the ten amendments to the united states const-tution that make up the bill of rights. the fifth amendment imposes restrictions on the government’s prosecution of persons accused of crimes. it prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy and mandates due process of law.

note: to “take the fifth” is to refuse to testify because the testimony could lead to self-incrimination.

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