The Fifth Modification of the US Structure states that no citizen “shall be compelled in any legal case to be a witness towards himself…”.
And that is the precept of Pleading the Fifth.
It’s the proper of a defendant to stay silent, though they’re below oath. That is why an legal professional can not merely ask a defendant to confess when they’re below oath.
Whenever you “plead the fifth”, you might be shielded from being compelled to incriminate your self.
The paradox of “pleading the Fifth” nonetheless, is that whoever makes use of it instantly places themself in a scenario the place they appear responsible in no matter they’re accused of, and at this level, the solely motive they don’t seem to be sentenced is as a result of they haven’t confessed, and there’s not sufficient stable proof.
Should you “plead the Fifth”, everybody is aware of you might be responsible.