plead

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plead the Fifth (Amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The alleged kingpin of the east coast drug cartel simply pled the Fifth after every question the prosecution put to him.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just plead the Fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the bar last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to plead the Fifth Amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, plead

take the fifth (amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. The defendant took the fifth after every question the prosecution put to him. There is speculation that he will take the fifth amendment if he is asked about his actions under oath.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just take the fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the party last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to take the fifth amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, take

plead for

1. To beg someone or appeal in earnest to someone's good nature for something to happen or be granted. The prisoner threw himself at the king's feet, pleading for his life. Daniel pleaded for a bit more time to finish the project, but the boss went ahead and fired him for the delay.
2. To beg someone or appeal in earnest to someone's good nature for someone to be spared some fate or treatment. The mother pleaded for her son, but the king had him executed on the spot. She pleaded for her brother when their mother threatened to whip him with the belt.
See also: plead

plead not guilty (to something)

To formally deny that one is guilty (of some crime or accusation). The defendant pleaded not guilty, and he will go to trial where he will face the possibility of life in prison, or even death. My client pleads not guilty, your honor.
See also: guilty, not, plead

plead guilty (to something)

To formally admit and declare that one is guilty (of some crime or accusation). The defendant avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. My client pleads guilty, your honor.
See also: guilty, plead

plead to (something)

To formally admit and declare that one is guilty of a particular crime. The defendant pleaded to manslaughter to avoid a murder conviction.
See also: plead

plead down to (something)

1. To formally admit and declare that one is guilty of a lesser criminal charge. The defendant pleaded down to a manslaughter charge to avoid the death penalty. He pleaded down to a single charge of perjury in exchange for cooperating with the FBI's investigation of the drug cartel.
2. To receive a lower punishment or prison sentence by formally admitting to a lesser criminal charge. She pled down to 18 months in prison. You might be able to plead down to 10 years, but if you go to trial, you're looking at life in prison.
3. To negotiate a deal with prosecutors or a judge in which a guilty plea is formally made for a lesser criminal charge on someone else's behalf. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "plead" and "down." The defense attorney managed to plead him down to a misdemeanor. He pleaded his client down to a reckless endangerment charge.
4. To negotiate a deal with prosecutors or a judge on someone else's behalf so that they a lower punishment or prison sentence is formally admitting to a lesser criminal charge. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "plead" and "down." I've built a good rapport with the judge overseeing your case, and I think we might be able to plead you down to community service. My attorney pled me down to 15 years in a minimum security prison, which sure as hell beats the prospect of life behind bars.
See also: down, plead

plead with (one)

To beg one or appeal in earnest to one's good nature (for something or to do something). I pleaded with him to reconsider, but he said his mind was made up. Don't go pleading with your mother for more ice cream—you've already had enough!
See also: plead

plead for someone

to beg for someone to be spared. Tom pleaded for Dave, but it was no use. Dave was found guilty. She pleaded for her husband, but the judge sentenced him to ten years in prison.
See also: plead

plead for something

to beg for something. I don't want to have to plead for what's already mine. The children were pleading for ice cream, so we got some for them.
See also: plead

plead guilty to something

to state that one is guilty of a crime before a court of law. Gerald refused to plead guilty to the crime and had to stand trial. Max pleaded guilty to the charge and then fled town.
See also: guilty, plead

plead to something

to enter an admission of guilt to a specific crime. Max pleaded to the lesser charge of larceny. Lefty pleaded to the grand larceny charge.
See also: plead

plead with someone

to beg something of someone; to make an emotional appeal to someone. Do I have to plead with you to get you to do it? You can plead with me as much as you want. I won't permit you to go.
See also: plead

take/plead the ˈfifth

(American English) make use of the right to refuse to answer questions in court about a crime, because you may give information which will make it seem that you are guiltyFrom the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees this right.
See also: fifth, plead, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Frankie Robertson, 46, of Carbondale, pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing, a Class B misdemeanor.
Patrick Nolan, 30, of Clarewood Green, Stanhope, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to burgling a house and stealing medication, lager and a DVD on April 2.
Graham Jon Moloney, 21, of Kelmscote Road, Coundon, pleaded guilty to drinkdriving.
A 17-year-old boy from Smethwick pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods from Jessops.
His wife, Roena ``Emma'' Hedengran, 54, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of failing to maintain records of exotic felines.
pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption, while Janet Figliolia pleaded guilty to bribery in the second degree.
On April 12, 1995, co-conspirator Joseph Mongiello pleaded guilty to Count One of the indictment, which charged him with racketeering.
Ashlea Anheuser, 34, of Thompsonville, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony.
Lee Stephenson, 29, of Warkworth Crescent, Newburn, pleaded guilty to possessing a knuckle duster and possessing cannabis.
John Dyson, 23, of Clos Mabon, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to causing unlawful damage to property at the University Hospital of Wales.
However, after both players pleaded no contest in San Bernardino County Superior Court, a source close to the players said Hale and Ward expect to be suspended for the opener.
11/14: Arthur Jones, 36, of Marion, pleaded guilty to writing a bad check, a Class 4 felony.
Pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol November 16.
The following cases were heard at Cardiff Magistrates' Court: | Luke Thole, 18, of Salvia Close, St Mellons, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour against another.