The Bill of Rights were created to limit government actions regarding personal rights involving liberty and property. People in the United States often take the Bill of Rights for granted, but it is important to understand the Fifth Amendment because it protects a number of your rights:
When a suspect goes to trial and the suspect is acquitted, that person cannot be charged for the same crime again. The same is true if the suspect is convicted and serves his time. This prevents the government from constantly keeping suspects on trial, and forces them to arrange their case and amass evidence before moving to trial.
Due process actually encompasses two things: substantive due process and procedural due process. Under the Fifth Amendment, the federal government is prohibited from infringing on fundamental constitutional liberties. This is known as substantive due process. Procedural due process refers to the process by which a law is applied or enforced.
This clause means that the government cannot make a witness testify against himself. This is why people often say they are “pleading the fifth” in a criminal case.
This clause prohibits the federal government from engaging in eminent domain. This means that the government can take away personal property, both real estate and personal belongings, for public use if the government justly compensates the owner. Just compensation is usually measured by the fair market value of the property.
If you have been arrested, speaking with a criminal lawyer about your rights is an important part of your defense. At Hinkle, Jachimowicz, Pointer & Emanuel, we have been practicing criminal defense law in San Jose for more than 30 years. To speak with an experienced criminal lawyer, contact us at (408) 916-1413.