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U.S. Constitution: Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution focuses on the rights of the accused, due process of law, and related matters. It's very important in the context of criminal cases, including the right to not incriminate oneself and eminent domain rights.

Below is the text of the amendment and links to related information.

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 offence 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.

The Fifth Amendment at a Glance

The Fifth Amendment addresses the "rights of persons," mainly in the context of the criminal justice system. For instance, when police "read you your rights" -- the right to remain silent, to have an attorney, etc. -- it is based on the Fifth Amendment as interpreted through the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Miranda v. Arizona.

The Fifth Amendment also prohibits being tried twice for the same crime, requires due process of the law (basically, that cases are conducted transparently, fairly, and according to certain agreed-upon rules), and other provisions related to the rights of the person. This also includes the right to not have land taken away by the government ("eminent domain") without due process.

The list below contains additional details about the rights granted under the Fifth Amendment:


Protect Your Fifth Amendment Rights With Help From an Attorney

The Fifth Amendment contains some of the strongest legal protections for those accused of crimes. However, it's important to recognize that the text of the amendment has been interpreted by state and federal courts for hundreds of years. Get a better understanding of the Fifth Amendment's protections and what they mean for you by speaking with a qualified criminal defense lawyer in your area.

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