Constitutional Rights in Federal Cases
Do you need your constitutional rights in federal cases defended? Get in touch with Scrofano Law PC today. We can offer you the legal representation you need.
What Are Constitutional Rights?
Constitutional rights are the fundamental liberties and guaranteed protections to the people under the U.S. Constitution. They regulate and limit the power of the government to protect individual freedoms, including the freedom of speech, press, and assembly.
When it comes to constitutional rights in federal cases, the U.S. Constitution sets the government’s duties and the rights of suspects, detainees, and defendants. Therefore, the federal government must observe and actively protect the constitutional rights of suspects throughout the criminal process.
The constitutional rights of suspects include but aren’t limited to:
The right to remain silent
The right to legal counsel
The right to a fair and speedy trial
The right against unlawful search and seizure
The right to a jury trial
While the federal government is supposed to safeguard these rights, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and federal court judges frequently violate them. This is why it’s crucial to have an experienced federal criminal lawyer by your side. They can help navigate the intricate legal terrain and protect your constitutional rights.
If you’re facing a federal charge, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Scrofano Law, PC. We can provide the guidance and representation you need to fight the charges.
Your Constitutional Rights in a Federal Case
If you have been charged with a federal offense, you may go through the criminal process up to the trial at a federal district court. Throughout the process, you will have constitutional rights that should not be violated or compromised.
Here are your rights during the federal criminal process:
1.Rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment:
Due process of law: The due process clause guarantees suspects’ right to a trial where they can defend themselves, provide evidence, cross-examine the prosection’s witnesses, subpoena people to testify, and testify if they choose.
Fair and equal protection: The equal protection clause protects suspects from discrimination based on protected classes such as sex, race, national origin, or religion.
2.Rights protected by the Eighth Amendment:
Right to bail: Judges must set bail amounts that are both reasonable and applied consistently to individuals accused of crimes. The Eighth Amendment prevents excessive or discriminatory bail.
Right to a reasonable sentence: Judges must issue sentences that match the seriousness of the crime committed and make sure that sentences are not excessive or disproportionate.
Right against cruel and excessive punishment by the government: The Eighth Amendment explicitly prohibits the government from subjecting individuals, including those accused of the federal crime of treason, to cruel and unusual punishments.
3.Rights protected by the Sixth Amendment:
Right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury: Individuals accused of crimes have the right to have their cases heard publicly and promptly before an unbiased jury.
Right to be informed of the charges and evidence against you: Individuals accused of crimes are entitled to a clear and accurate explanation of the charges and evidence against them.
Right to assistance of counsel: Individuals facing criminal charges have the right to legal counsel. If a defendant cannot afford an attorney, one can be appointed for them by the court.
Right to confront the prosecution’s witnesses: This right grants the defendant the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses presented by the prosecution during a trial.
4.Rights protected by the Fifth Amendment:
Right to a grand jury: Those accused of felony crimes are entitled to a grand jury hearing, which assesses the evidence and determines if it’s sufficient to establish probable cause.
Right against double jeopardy: The double jeopardy clause prohibits trying a person twice for the same offense.
Right against self-incrimination: Suspects have the right to not answer questions that may incriminate them. This means they have the right to remain silent and not testify against themselves in criminal proceedings.
Right to due process of law when incarceration or the death penalty may be imposed: This guarantees due process when a person’s liberty or life is at stake.
5.Rights protected by the Fourth Amendment:
Right against unreasonable search and seizure: searches and seizures can only be conducted on probable cause or a warrant. Any evidence obtained through an unreasonable search or seizure may be excluded from court and will not be used against the accused.
Right against arbitrary arrests: Similar to the rights against unlawful seizures, the Fourth Amendment protects suspects from arbitrary arrests, even on warrants. An arrest warrant must only be issued when probable cause is established.
Can the Government Limit Constitutional Rights in Certain Circumstances?
Some constitutional rights may be subject to limitations, as the U.S. Constitution protects your rights with respect to the government but not private parties. For instance, the right to free speech is essential, but it’s not indefinite. You cannot express anything that may cause harm to the public or a specific individual. In such cases, individuals may face consequences under state or federal law.
Another example of a limitation ruled by the judicial department is found in national security cases. While individuals have the right to privacy, the government may restrict that right when there are legitimate reasons to use surveillance on potential threats to national security. In such cases, the government’s interest in protecting the nation may outweigh an individual’s right to privacy.
Keep in mind that the limits on constitutional rights can vary by context. State courts can interpret federal laws differently, which may be in violation of your constitutional rights. If you have concerns about potential violations or need guidance, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Scrofano Law PC for assistance.
What To Do If My Constitutional Rights Have Been Violated During the Criminal Process?
If you believe your constitutional rights have been violated during the criminal process, you must seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. Here’s how they can help you:
- Investigate and gather evidence: Your defense attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to uncover evidence of your constitutional right violations, such as unreasonable searches and seizures, warrantless arrests, or unreasonable delays in legal proceedings.
- File Pre-trial Motions: If violations are identified and proven, your lawyer can file pre-trial motions, such as motions to suppress unlawfully obtained evidence and to dismiss for violation of speedy trial. If granted, your case can be dismissed.
- File Motion for New Trial: If you were found guilty and convicted, your attorney can file a motion for a new trial on grounds of constitutional violations. These motions must be filed within 14 days of the judgment.
- File an appeal: If your motion for a new trial was denied, you may be able to appeal to a higher court. This includes the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
How the Team at Scrofano Law PC Can Help
At Scrofano Law PC, we are committed to defending your constitutional rights. Our team of experienced Washington, DC, Criminal Lawyers has handled hundreds of cases in federal courts across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. If you’re facing federal charges, we are here to represent you, advocate for you, and protect your constitutional rights.
When you choose Scrofano Law PC, you’re choosing a legal team that will stand by your side until the end and fight tirelessly for a favorable outcome.
If you are arrested or accused of a crime in Maryland, you can reach out to our Maryland criminal lawyer for assistance.
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