What Is The 5th Amendment? And What It Talks About Procedural Due Process


Wondering what is the 5th amendment? The 5th amendment was one part of the Bill of Rights, this was added to the constitution during 1791, and on 15th December. This amendment came into the purpose, keeping the US citizen in mind and providing that ‘No person shall be held answerable for capital, or crime, unless with the involvement of a jury.

This clause speaks and gives an outline of the basic constitutional limits on police procedures. The amendment originally applied only to cases laid in federal court. The US supreme court has partially incorporated the amendment to some states too. This is done through the Due Process clause which is mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment

Some Key Pointer in 5th amendment


This amendment talks about the grand jury, it is the one that decides if there is a need for a trial to be held. They will be the ones taking and keeping in mind all the evidence associated with the case. After collecting the evidence, they decide if the person should be charged for the crime or not?

If there is not enough evidence, they will want to go deeper by issuing an indictment further resulting in a trial that will be held. In cases where punishment has to be given for the crime, only then there is an involvement of the Grand Jury.

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VERY IMPORTANT; Taking the Fifth

If you are wondering what it means, the amendment has mentioned it in detail. The most interesting and famous part of the fifth amendment is the right to testify against yourself during the trial.

This particular statement is termed as “taking the fifth.” The government demands a presence of witnesses and evidence to prove the crime has occurred. With that, they cannot force someone to testify against themselves too. It is for the protection of the people from being ‘involved in a criminal case as a witness’

The people who wish to be a witness don’t have to reveal their identity or any other information that might lead to the arrest of the accused person. People shall remember that they cannot force someone to confess. Prosecutors must be responsible for coming up with the evidence to prove the case.

Due Process

The Amendment has also mentioned about Due process, and that every person who is charged has a right to ‘due process of law’ Wondering what it means? In simple words, procedural due process is that if any citizen has been charged with a crime, they will be given a fair trial, one that follows a proper procedure, transparency, and in a legal way through the judicial system.

Double Jeopardy: 

This is the section that protects the people from being tried again and again for the same crime. Tried for the crime more than once and therefore it is said to be double jeopardy. In simple words, a person can go to trial twice for the same crime done. It focuses on multiple punishments for the same offense.

Eminent Domain 

Your question of what is the 5th amendment is almost coming to an end with the last part. It means that the government is not liable to take over anyone’s property, without paying a fair price or money for it. In some cases, the government can take and have the right to take private property.

However, this is only for the purpose or in favor and benefit of the public like for highways and parks. However, owners of private property demand a reasonable price in exchange for the offer.


  1. It was earlier applicable only in the federal court, but then it expanded, becoming applicable in other state courts too.
  2. It protects the individual but not in many cases business or corporations.
  3. Due process has given quite an importance to the clause, making it appear twice in the Constitution.


You might have more doubts about what is the 5th amendment and wish to know more about it. Reach to GetLegal and get informed fully about the amendment, what the clause states, and how it is helpful to the citizens of the US.