KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
and how assert them.
and do NOT ever talk to the police about a crime in which you are a suspect.
What is "Due Process?"
The government must use an abundance of caution before it deprives an American citizen of their liberty. Generally, if law enforcement wants to take away your freedom, they must adhere to certain rules and respect your constitutional rights. If you are charged with a crime, you can optimize your the chances of a favorable case outcome by knowing what your rights are and how to use them. Your rights are there to protect you, and often times, the outcome of a case turns on whether the person properly exercised their constitutional rights. Suffice it to say, police are not constitutional scholars, and one of the most common reasons that cases are dismissed pretrial and on appeal is because of a police officer's ignorance of the substance of your constitutional rights. Take the time to learn your rights so you don't forfeit them. It is better to know your rights and not need them than it is to need your rights and not know them.
This Constitutional right protects YOU against "unreasonable searches and seizures" by police or government officials. It means that the government you cannot search you, your home, and your cellphone. without a valid warrant or probable cause. The Fourth Amendment is one your most important constitutional rights if you have been accused of a crime, and violations of this
right are one of the most common reasons that charges get dismissed—especially for charges arising from traffic stops. In order to maximize your protection under the Fourth Amendment, it is SO important that you assert your Fifth Amendment rights and remain silent during any encounters with law enforcement.
This constitutional right gives you many key rights that could turn your criminal case on its' head. The Sixth Amendment guarantees you the right to an impartial jury trial and a speedy trial. This means that if you are incarcerated and you request a trial, you are guaranteed one within 180 days, and all jurors must be neutral. It also gives you the right to cross-examine any adverse witnesses at trial—and if an adverse witness is unavailable to testify at trial, any evidence they provided against you cannot be used.
The right to a jury trial is of utmost importance. Too often, people facing criminal charges plead guilty to avoid harsh penalties. What criminal defendants don't realize, however, is that plea bargains are offered because the state also wants to avoid going to trial. Going to trial means that prosecutors must invest a lot of time, resources, and taxpayer money to prove your guilt (as they should! liberty should not be disposed of liberally). Additionally, going to trial doesn't mean that you have to prove that you are innocent to prevail—to prevail, you must create a mere possibility of doubt about your involvement. In today's society, a jury of 12 of your peers likely means that there at least one juror is aware of the prevalence of police misconduct and discriminatory practices—and this awareness alone often creates the reasonable that is needed to acquit you of your charges.
This Constitutional right protects you from having to incriminate yourself. In simple terms, it gives you power over the government to demand that the government do its' job of proving you guilty if it wants to take away your liberty. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during an arrest is to speak (unless is is to ask for an attorney). The Fifth Amendment also protects you from
having to testify against yourself at trial. If you do testify, it allows you to avoid incriminating questions by "pleading the Fifth." Finally, the Fifth Amendment forbids the government from charging the same person twice for the same crime (forbids against "double jeopardy").
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law".
As previously noted, this means that the State must use procedures that are fair and equal in criminal proceedings. If the procedures used by the state violate your due process laws, the Federal government can intervene through a doctrine called "habeas corpus."