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What Are My “Due Process Rights” During a Criminal Case?

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Our Washington D.C. criminal defense attorney at Lotze Mosley, LLP, knows due process rights are a fundamental aspect of the U.S. legal system. They are designed to ensure fairness and protect individuals’ rights in all criminal legal proceedings. These rights are enshrined in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, which state that no person shall be deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Here, we discuss exactly what that means to your criminal case.

During a Criminal Case

Due Process Rights Encompass Several Key Principles

The initial principle behind an individual’s due process rights is that they must be given adequate notice of any charges or legal proceedings brought against them. This includes being informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.

Next, due process requires a:

  • Right to Remain Silent

Defendants have the right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves. This includes the right to refuse to answer questions that law enforcement officers or prosecutors pose.

  • Right to Counsel

Defendants have the right to legal representation, and if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for them at no cost if the offense is severe enough to warrant potential incarceration.

  • Presumption of Innocence

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, and the defendant does not have to prove their innocence.

  • Fair Hearing

Individuals are entitled to a fair and impartial hearing before an impartial decision-maker, like a judge or jury. This includes the right to present evidence, call witnesses, and challenge evidence submitted by the opposing party.

Defendants charged with serious criminal offenses have the right to a trial by jury. The jury must be impartial and composed of members of the defendant’s peers.

  • Right to Confront Witnesses

Defendants have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses testifying against them in court. This ensures that the accused can challenge the credibility and reliability of the evidence presented.

  • Right to Appeal

Defendants have the right to appeal a conviction or sentence based on errors during the trial or violations of their Constitutional rights.

These critical protections are in place to counter arbitrary government action and ensure that individuals are treated fairly and justly under the law.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer at Lotze Mosley, LLP Today

If you have been arrested for a crime and believe your due process rights have been violated, call (202)-393-0535 to speak with our skilled criminal defense attorneys in Washington, D.C., at Lotze Mosley, LLP.

This will ensure your rights are protected from the beginning so you can make informed decisions about the direction of your case.

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