self-incrimination

self-incrimination
/self"in krim'euh nay"sheuhn, self'-/, n.
the act of incriminating oneself or exposing oneself to prosecution, esp. by giving evidence or testimony.
[1920-25]

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In criminal law, the giving of evidence that might tend to expose the witness to punishment for a crime.

The term is generally used in relation to the privilege of refusing to give such evidence. In some continental European countries (e.g., Germany), a person fearing self-incrimination may make his own decision as to whether or not he will testify. In Anglo-American practice, a person other than an accused cannot refuse to testify; he may only cite his privilege against self-incrimination, and the judge then decides whether he must testify. If required to testify, he must answer all questions except those he considers to be self-incriminating. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a provision that protects a person from being compelled to make self-incriminating statements, one intention being to prevent coercion of testimony. See also rights of the accused; exclusionary rule.

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law
      in law, the giving of evidence that might tend to expose the witness to punishment for crime. The term is generally used in relation to the privilege of refusing to give such evidence. In some continental European countries (Germany, for example, but not France), a person fearing self-incrimination may make his own decision as to whether or not he will testify. In Anglo-American practice, on the other hand, a person other than an accused cannot refuse to testify; he may only cite his privilege against self-incrimination, and the judge decides whether he must testify. If required to testify, he must answer all questions except those he considers to be self-incriminating.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • self-incrimination — n. The act of testifying against oneself or implicating oneself in a crime, which the Fifth Amendment forbids the government to require of anyone. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney… …   Law dictionary

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  • self–incrimination — self–in·crim·i·na·tion /ˌself in ˌkri mə nā shən/ n: incrimination of and by oneself esp. through testimony see also privilege against self incrimination at privilege Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster …   Law dictionary

  • self-incrimination — also self incrimination, 1911, from SELF (Cf. self) + incrimination (see INCRIMINATE (Cf. incriminate)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • self-incrimination — [self′in krim΄ə nā′shən] n. incrimination of oneself by one s own statements or answers self incriminating adj …   English World dictionary

  • self-incrimination — Acts or declarations either as testimony at trial or prior to trial by which one implicates himself in a crime. The Fifth Amendment, U.S.Const., as well as provisions in many state constitutions and laws, prohibit the government from requiring a… …   Black's law dictionary

  • self-incrimination — /sɛlf ɪnkrɪməˈneɪʃən/ (say self inkrimuh nayshuhn) noun the providing of evidence of one s own guilt by one s own actions or speech: an act of self incrimination. –self incriminating, adjective …   Australian-English dictionary

  • self-incrimination — The giving of testimony, the furnishing of evidence, or a demonstration by act, by which a witness incriminates himself because it is such or tends to be such as will convict him of a crime. 58 Am J1st Witn §§ 57 et seq. See privilege against… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • self-incrimination — self in|crim|i|na|tion [ ,self ın,krımı neıʃn ] noun uncount the act of giving information about yourself that makes you seem guilty of a crime ╾ ,self in criminating adjective: self incriminating evidence …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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