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.
With "pleading the fifth" becoming more and more prevalent among those being summoned to testify before congress or various senate hearings, I began wondering about this emphasized portion of the fifth amendment. Those hearings were not criminal cases. And nor are many other instances in which people invoke the fifth amendment. It goes without saying that I am obviously not a lawyer. It would seem that this protection has been expanded to include other areas not limited to criminal cases. Otherwise, how are these folks able to assert that right? I'm a bit confused over this.