Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains “Due Process”

What Is Due Process In Maryland?

Anyone who has watched a few hours of television has likely run across a cop show where someone uses the phrase “due process” in the context of a criminal action. Though it’s a commonly used term, surprisingly few people understand exactly what it means.

What does “due process” mean?

“Due process of law” means that everyone has the right to be treated fairly by the government. Sounds simple, right? Not quite. The notion of due process appears in the U.S. Constitution several times, in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as well as the Sixth Amendment.

Fifth Amendment Due Process

The due process clause contained in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution says that the government is not allowed to try a person twice for the same crime (meaning no double jeopardy). The Fifth Amendment also says that a person cannot be forced to incriminate himself (pleading the fifth) and that a person’s freedom cannot be taken from them without good cause

Sixth Amendment Due Process

The Sixth Amendment guarantees all citizens the right to a fair trial. This means that anyone who has been charged with a crime has the right to a speedy and public trial. People also have the right to a jury trial in criminal cases and the right to confront any witnesses who have accused you of illegal activity. The Sixth Amendment also permits criminal defendants to have an attorney and to call witnesses in their own defense.

Fourteenth Amendment Due Process

The Fourteenth Amendment due process clause deals with the idea of equal protection before the law. This means that under the law, we are all considered equals. Issues like race, gender and religion cannot alter our punishment or standing before the law.

Need help with a Maryland criminal offense? Call me at 301-563-9575 or 1-877-566-2408 for a free consultation. I’m an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer and I’d be happy to help. I practice law throughout the entire State of Maryland.