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 ?
Marshalls Court, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying class A drugs and will be sentenced on August 23.
| Malcolm Gee, 66 and of Grenville Terrace, Ashton-under-Lyne, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce Class B (amphetamine); production of Class B (cannabis); possession of Class A (cocaine); possession of criminal property - cash and possession of Class B (cannabis) and was jailed for six years and nine months.
Malcolm Gee, 66, of Grenville Terrace in Ashton-Under-Lyne pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce Class B (amphetamine); production of Class B (cannabis); possession of Class A (cocaine); possession of criminal property - cash and possession of Class B (cannabis) and was jailed for six years and nine months.
Samuel Magee, 22, of Clement Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of a community order.
Melik Shaw, 22, of Carbondale, pleaded guilty to battery, a Class A misdemeanor.
Geordie Davison, 24, of Highmoor Court, Cowgate, pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order by attending a particular street on April 1.
Dale Young, 21, of City Road, Newcaslte, pleaded guilty to violent disorder but was remanded in custody as he was already serving a prison sentence for burglary.
Kieran Dougs Ferguson, 23, of Lindley Road, Stoke, pleaded guilty to drink-driving.
A 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty to entering the Orange shop in New Street on August 8 with intent to steal.
* Nichole Jones, 31, of Hot Springs Village, who pleaded guilty to fraud on March 22, 2005.
The MTA's former Director of Facility Operations, Howard Weissman, its former Facilities Manager, Ronald Allan, and former MTA building manager, Gary Weissbard pleaded guilty to participating in the corrupt activities of contractors doing business with the MTA, including plumbing contractor Figliolia Plumbing Co.
McFarlane: Pleaded guilty on March 11, 1988, to four misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress, after a plea-bargain agreement with Walsh.
| Kyle Kelly, 20, of Solway Close, Warrington, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and will be sentenced at a later date.
11/20: Lester Kyle, 33, of Murphysboro, pleaded guilty to theft, a Class 3 felony.
A summary of cases heard at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court from November 7-15: Geoffrey Bradwell, 55, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to damaging the window of The Methodist Church, in Elton Street, Wallsend He was discharged conditionally for 12 months and ordered to pay PS250 compensation.