A privilege granted by the Fifth Amendment to the United States
Constitution, which bars the federal government from forcing a criminal
defendant to give testimony against him- or herself. Through the due process
clause of Fourteenth Amendment, this privilege has become applicable to state
proceedings, whether criminal or civil, and is often referred to simply as,
Â“pleading the Fifth.Â” The rule does not apply to self-incrimination by
non-testimonial means; therefore, the individual is not protected against
fingerprinting or DNA evidence being compelled.