Bristol Myers

Attorney-at-Law

Criminal Law Austin, Texas

Legal Resources

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 Fifth Amendment. But the U.S. Supreme Court thinks otherwise. It has ruled that the Fifth Amendment protects communications only, and that bodily samples are physical evidence and therefore not covered by the Constitution.

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