U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

The 5th Amendment

Home  |  Glossary  |  Resources  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Course Map

The 5th Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The Supreme Court has held that this privilege reaches no further than communications that are testimonial DNA, like a fingerprint or blood sample, is non-testimonial and thus there is no 5th Amendment violation when DNA samples are lawfully obtained. Gilbert v. California, 388 U.S. 263; 87 S. Ct. 1951; 18 L. Ed. 2d 1178 (1967); Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966); Boling v. Romer, 101 F.3d 1336 (10th Cir. 1996).

Back Forward