The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights is one of the most often cited amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment reads as follows:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The portion in bold, above, is often used in courtroom dramas, both real and on screen. To "plead the fifth", is to protect yourself from self-incrimination. Juries in civil cases are allowed to draw inferences from a witness asserting their Fifth Amendment right.
Florida's Second District Court of Appeal held in Belniak v. McWilliams 44 So.3d 1282 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2010), "The trial court's order is overbroad because it required Belniak to answer questions that, at least in part, would be covered by the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and therefore departed from the essential requirements of the law."
In the Belniak case, Mr. Belniak was charged with DUI manslaughter, and had been sued by the estate of Raymond McWilliams for his wrongful death. This civil case, stemming from the
car accident with the two parties, took place prior to the resolution of the criminal matter.