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South Jersey Law Blog

What is Due Process?

Posted by Chris Leone-Zwillinger | Jul 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Due Process is a term we hear often enough, but what does it mean?

Webster's web site tells us that Due Process is

“Legal proceedings carried out fairly and in accord with established rules and principles. Due process standards are sometimes referred to as either substantive or procedural. Substantive due process refers to a requirement that laws and regulations be related to a legitimate government interest (e.g., crime prevention) and not contain provisions that result in the unfair or arbitrary treatment of an individual. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that “no person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This right was extended to the states by the 14th Amendment (1868). Fundamental to procedural due process are adequate notice before the government can deprive one of life, liberty, or property, and the opportunity to be heard and defend one's rights. The boundaries of due process are not fixed and are the subject of endless judicial interpretation and decision making.”

In other words, due process is guaranteed under the law as a form of protection of individual rights from being denied by the “people” in any state action. Essentially, Due Process affords a defendant litigant both notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Due process is not an easy concept to pin down because as with any constitutional question, the courts must balance the individual's rights against the interests of the “people”.  The more fundamental the right the more protection it requires.

Our First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly are among the most fundamental of rights we hold dear. These rights cannot be limited by government unless there is a compelling reason. For example, sharing of national secrets creates a risk for our nation that cannot be permitted.  Consequently it is treason and forbidden despite the first amendment.

There is no individual right that does not have an exception if it serves the greater good. This is why due process is so important.

Due Process protects our rights from being trampled on and It secures our freedoms.

If you or a loved one is grappling with a deprivation of due process in New Jersey, contact the criminal defense attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele today. We are experienced lawyers who are ready to defend the charges against you. Contact us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone (856) 546-1350. 

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