The legal system can be intimidating: from police to judges to jails, the complexity and difficulty of it all can be too much. Even though only a knowledgeable defense attorney understands all the ins and outs of dealing with the court, you can help yourself today by brushing up on your legal rights.
One right guaranteed to every American is the right to due process. Receiving “due process” essentially means that the government is respecting your rights as you interact with the legal system. For example, if you’re accused of a crime, the Constitution makes it illegal for the police to search you or your property without probable cause or a warrant. An illegal search is a violation of due process.
The right to due process is ensured in the Fifth Amendment. Among many other rights this amendment establishes, it states that no citizen will be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In other words, the court must act in accordance with your legal rights.
This is the same amendment people are referring to when they speak of “pleading the Fifth.” Pleading the Fifth means using your Constitutional right not to answer questions during a trial if your answer can be self-incriminating. If this protection were not in place, the court could force you to answer questions that could work against you.
If you have been accused of a crime, it’s very important to know your rights. For more information on your legal rights and how a knowledgeable defense lawyer can help you, contact the San Jose criminal defense attorneys of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. today at (408) 296-4100.