Due Process essentially is the rights afforded to private citizens in protecting them from erroneous or unsupportable attempts to “deprive them of life, liberty, and happiness”. Through legal precedents, the rights afforded citizens regarding the federal government in the Bill of Rights has been extended to protect citizens from state governments as well. The most important pieces of law protecting rights to due process are amendments to the United State’s Constitution, which include:
- The Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure
- The Eighth Amendment, which prevents cruel and unusual punishment of private citizens
- The Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right to counsel for individuals accused of a crime
- The Fifth Amendment, which provides citizens the privilege of preventing self-incrimination
Other rights afforded to defendants via due process include:
- A defendant’s right to a trial that will not impair the ability to mount a defense
- Requires the government to provide exculpatory evidence to defendants
- Prevents the government from using entrapment
- Maintains a defendant is innocent until proven guilty
- Requires guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt
- Protects a defendant’s right to present evidence and defend themselves
According to due process rights, the prosecutor is tasked with proving a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Commonly, a crime consists of multiple elements, which in total, comprise to form an illegal act. Prosecutors must show all elements occurred, with each element most likely occurring at the level of beyond a reasonable doubt. For jury members, the judge’s instructions will also contain the statement that a conviction must show that no reasonable doubt exists attesting to a defendant’s innocence.
The Bottom Line: To the average person, the inner workings of the criminal justice system are foreign. Should you or a loved one find themselves in legal difficulty, it is of vital importance that you seek expert professional assistance. Criminal Defense Attorney Scott A. Rubenstein provides solutions to legal problems of all varieties. Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Rubenstein at his office (513) 241-7460 or on his mobile phone (513) 260-2099. Every case is unique. The specific facts and circumstances of any case, are important to determine the best strategy to address an investigation, an arrest, and/or the filing of criminal charges. Initial confutations are always free of charge.