Self-Incrimination Privilege Applies Only To Testimony

1966

In Schmerber v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Fifth Amendment does not prevent a court from admitting evidence of a drunken-driving defendant’s blood test showing an illegal blood alcohol level. The Court explains that because the blood test results are not “testimony nor evidence relating to some communicative act or writing” by the defendant, the use of those results at trial does not violate his right against self-incrimination.