Due process is a cornerstone of our legal system that guarantees the rights and protection of all citizens. It is natural for many to be overwhelmed when faced with a situation requiring them to understand their due process rights.
However, knowledge of due process helps us remain informed and secure while preserving certain essential liberties associated with American democracy.
What is Due Process?
The term “due process” refers to the idea that all parties involved in a legal proceeding have an equal right to an impartial hearing. Due process requires that all decisions made during a court proceeding must be based on facts presented by both sides—not on any bias or prejudice held by the judge or jury.
What is Procedural Due Process?
Procedural due process involves the procedures that protect your rights when you’re in court or when the government takes away your property, liberty, or life.
It means that before any action is taken against you, you are entitled to a hearing where you can present evidence, witnesses, and arguments on your behalf—and have an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you. This ensures that any decision made is fair and based on facts as opposed to assumptions or prejudice.
What is Substantive Due Process?
Substantive due process goes beyond just ensuring fair procedure—it also protects people from having their rights taken away without cause. This type of due process prohibits state governments from passing laws that violate certain fundamental constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech and religion. It also prevents government officials from arbitrarily taking away someone’s property or liberty without good cause.
In other words, substantive due process requires that any law or action taken by the government must be reasonable and necessary in order to protect the public interest. It helps protect citizens from arbitrary and oppressive governmental actions by ensuring that laws serve a legitimate purpose and do not infringe upon people’s fundamental rights.
Why Is Due Process Important?
Due process ensures that everyone involved in a legal proceeding receives an unbiased evaluation of their case, leading to more accurate decisions being made about guilt or innocence, damages owed, etc.
Due process also guarantees that all people will be given a chance to defend themselves against any accusations and will not be punished until they have a chance to prove their innocence. This helps to ensure that people are not wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit.
How To Protect Your Rights
In any interaction with law enforcement, it’s important to remember that you have rights. Understanding your rights can go a long way toward protecting you from police misconduct and ensuring that your rights are protected.
Take the following steps to ensure that your rights are upheld:
Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent
The most important right you have when dealing with law enforcement is the right to remain silent. Unless compelled by a judge or officer of the court, you do not have to answer any questions posed by a police officer or other law enforcement agent. Anything you say can be held against you in court, so, it’s best to speak only after consulting an attorney.
Don’t Consent To an Unlawful Search
When law enforcement agents come knocking on your door, they often ask for permission to search your home or business. If they don’t have a valid search warrant, providing them access could be construed as giving up your Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. So, if there is no search warrant present, politely decline and do not provide access until one is obtained.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer If Your Due Process Rights Were Violated
If you believe your due process rights have been violated, it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case and determine if there has been a violation of your due process rights.
If a violation has occurred, your lawyer can work with you to pursue appropriate remedies through either administrative channels or by filing a civil lawsuit against those responsible for violating your rights.
A skilled attorney will also be able to advise you on how best to proceed with any criminal charges filed against you and provide guidance on filing appeals or other post-conviction relief remedies if necessary. In addition, an experienced attorney can provide valuable support throughout the entire process so that you understand all aspects of the case and feel comfortable navigating it successfully.
Due process is a cornerstone of the American legal system, and it guarantees that everyone will be treated fairly under the law. If you need help, contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at Ambrosio E. Rodriguez you can schedule a free consultation by calling (213) 995-6767
Last Updated on January 19, 2023