What does "I plead the fifth" mean?

I am from Canada and i was wondering because i have heard it said on varius shows.
Answer:   "I plead the fifth" is the right to abstain from incriminating yourself through speech. "The fifth" refers to the 5th amendment of the constitution.
I think its when you chose to not say anything.
it means ur exercising ur right to not incriminate urself...{{{ simpler terms: they cant make you snitch on urself}}}
It means invoking one's rights under the Fifth Amendment to The U.S. Constitution, which protects one from self-incrimination.
It refers to the Fifth Amendment which protects people (usually witnesses at a trial) from self-incrimination.
The fifth amendment means that you do not have to testify in court, if the testimony incriminates yourself.
Invoking the 5th amendment to your right not to incriminate yourself by testimony.
In law it means that you take the right to not testify or speak against yourself (to not incriminate yourself).
It means the 5th amendment,or "I have the right to remain silent"
You might be guilty or might just not want certain facts to come to light
Pleading the 5th refers to the 5th amendment which states..

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.

In short, you plead this instead of answering a question that may incriminate you.
Self-Incrimination
The Fifth Amendment protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves. To "plead the Fifth" or to "take the Fifth" is a refusal to answer a question because the response could form self incriminating evidence.

Historically, the legal protection against self-incrimination is directly related to the question of torture for extracting information and confessions.[citation needed] The legal shift from widespread use of torture and forced confession dates to turmoil of the late 16th and early 17th centuries in England. Anyone refusing to take the oath ex-officio (confessions or swearing of innocence, usually before hearing any charges) was taken for guilty. Suspected Puritans were pressed to take the oath and then reveal names of other Puritans. Coercion and torture were commonly employed to compel "cooperation." Puritans, who were at the time fleeing to the New World, began a practice of refusing to cooperate with interrogations. In the most famous case, John Lilburne refused, in 1637, to take the oath. His case and his call for "freeborn rights" were rallying points for reforms against forced oaths, forced self-incrimination, and other kinds of coercion. Oliver Cromwell's revolution overturned the practice and incorporated protections, in response to a popular group of English citizens known as the Levellers. The Levellers presented The Humble Petition of Many Thousands to Parliament in 1647 with thirteen demands, of which, the right against self-incrimination (in criminal cases only), was listed at number three. These protections were brought to the American shores by Puritans, and were later incorporated into the United States Constitution through its Bill of Rights.
Fifth amendment from the United States Constitution.

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.

Your canadian,so I wouldn't expect you to know. In that case it is okay to ask.
Simply put, it means the guy wants to remain silent, clam up.By the way this saying is in reference to the 5th ammendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbida anyone from incriminating themselves.
To invoke the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which gives people the right against self-incrimination. It means we don't have to testify against ourself.
It refers to the fifth amendment to the US constitution. Which states that "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."
the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constution says among other things that you have the right not to incriminate yourself. So if you are giving testimony and the judge or the District Attorney or another lawyer asks you a question where if you answered it truthfully you may be charged with a crime. you can refuse to answer and "plead the fifth"
You have the right not to answer a question if it will incriminate you.
The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution, among other things, guarantees that someone cannot be compelled to provide testimony in any criminal legal proceeding that would be used to incriminate them.

Thus, when people say, "I plead the 5th" what they are saying (from a legal standpoint) is that they are invoking the legal privilege that allows them to refuse to answer on the grounds that their answer might be used to incriminate them.

It has entered common usage as a way of refusing to answer a question in any context, independent of the law. But it only has true legal force and effect in criminal proceedings.
The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution basically states that you have the right and protection from "self-incrimination". The statement of "taking the fifth" basically means that you reserve the right against saying anything which may be used against you in a criminal proceeding.
The fifth amendment to the US constitution garauntees that the accuses has the right not to incriminate him/herself in court. You "plead the Fifth" because you would be forced to admit something that makes you look guilty otherwise.
TO plead the "fifth" is an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1791, that deals with the rights of accused criminals by providing for due process of law, forbidding double jeopardy, and stating that no person may be forced to testify as a witness against himself or herself.
You are using your 5th amendment right not to answer a question.
That would be the right to keep your mouth shut.
The reference is to the 5th amendment to the constitution in the Bill of Rights-The right not to testify because it may incriminate you legally.
To be politically correct it's referring to the U.S. Constitution

Fifth Amendment - Rights of Persons

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.
In simple terms, if you went with a friend to rob a house and the prosecutor found out that your friend was at your house just before the robbery. If you took the stand as a witness, you would want to "plea the 5th" because you don't want to give away any information that you may have been part of the crime yourself. By admitting you were with him right before, in light of subsequent evidence, they may go after you!
Plea the 5th, no self incrimination, You don't have to tell on yourself.
in The U.S. I plead the fifth is referring to 5th amendment rights against self incrimination. It basically means you do not have to answer any question on the witness stand in court if that answer is going to incriminate you (say something that could cause you to be charged with a crime. It is your constitutional right not to be a witness against yourself.


The Answers post by the user, for information only, FreeLawAnswer does not guarantee the right.
Answer question:


More Questions and Answers: