||It has been suggested that Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution#Self-incrimination be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2011.|
The prohibition against self-incrimination is an individual right not to implicate ones' self in a criminal offense. The privilege is not limited to a prohibition on the compulsion, under penalty of contempt of court, of testimony under oath in a legal or official proceeding (such as a Congressional committee). Nor is the privilege limited to a right to silence; instead, the Clause gives rise to other prophylactic rules such as the Miranda warning.
The privilege does not extend to the incrimination of third-parties. Nor does it extend to witnesses who have been granted immunity from prosecution, whether transactional or limited. Further, the privilege is limited to natural persons and does not extend to corporations.
The invocation of this privilege is colloquially referred to as "pleading the Fifth," "taking the Fifth," or "demanding the Fifth." One famous example of "taking the fifth" occurred when Colonel Oliver North was asked to testify before Congress regarding his role in destroying documents during the Iran-Contra Affair.
See also 
- U.S. Const. amend V.
- By DAVID E. ROSENBAUM, Special to the New York Times (1987-07-10). "Iran-Contra Hearings; North Says His Shredding Continued Despite Presence Of Justice Department Aides: Shadow On Casey". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Don't Talk to the Police - Professor James Duane of the Regent University School of Law
- Don't Talk to the Police - Officer George Bruch from the Virginia Beach Police Department
- Never Speak with Police - Criminal Defense Attorney Bruce Yerman from New York City