Criminal Arrests and Interrogations FAQ

Can a person who is charged with a crime be forced to give bodily samples?

Yes. You might think that being forced to give bodily samples -- such as blood, hair, or fingernail clippings -- is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's protection against self-incrimination, found in the 5th Amendment. But the U.S. Supreme Court thinks otherwise. It has ruled that the 5th Amendment protects communications only, and that bodily samples are physical evidence and therefore not covered by the protection against self-incrimination.

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