Officer Arresting Young ManUnderstanding Due Process

Due process refers to the requirement that notice and opportunity-to-be-heard are given before adverse action is taken against an individual. In regard to criminal misconduct, law enforcement’s requirement to have probable cause before making an arrest is one example of due process. Another is the presumption that every person is innocent until proven guilty. This type of due process law is known as procedural due process and it governs the actual “process” to ensure that it is both fair and legal.

Substantive Due Process

The constitution also guarantees “substantive due process,” which protects certain fundamental rights from government interference. Instead of governing the actual “process,” substantive due process governs a person’s specific rights. Even if the process is fair and legal, it may be challenged if it is negatively impacting an individual’s certain, fundamental rights. An example of substantive due process is seen in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). A law made it illegal for birth control to be dispensed by doctors to their patients. However, the law was in violation of the Constitution because it denied patients their right to privacy, even though the law itself was applied properly.

Basic due process is every American’s right. The Constitution only reiterates one command. The Fifth Amendment tells the federal government that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment uses those same words (the Due Process Clause) to describe the legal obligation of every state. The main point of these eleven words is to provide assurance that all aspects of government must operate within the stated law and follow fair procedures.

We Help You Understand Your Basic Due Process Rights

If you are being charged with any crime, you have rights. If you feel that your constitutional rights were violated in any way, we can help. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in criminal law, and we are well-versed in procedural and substantive due process. The violation of these rights is paramount in the reduction and dismissal of many criminal charges. We will use our knowledge of due process and our skill for finding weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to obtain the best possible outcome for your unique situation.  Contact Keegan Law today for a free consultation.