In the United States, the government can’t deprive you of your rights without going through due process. The court system in South Carolina and the rest of the U.S. is essentially based on due process. Under this system, everyone has the right to a fair trial, even if the prosecution has accused you of heinous crimes.
What is due process?
Under the U.S. Constitution, everyone has the right to “life, liberty and property.” If a judge convicts you of a crime, you might lose your liberty or property. The judge could seize your property or sentence you to jail time, depriving you of the ability to live on your own terms. You might even lose your life if the judge gives you the death penalty. This is all perfectly legal under criminal law, but it can’t happen without due process.
Before a judge takes away your rights, they have to go through due process. The state can’t take your property or throw you in prison without warning. They have to tell you what’s happening and give you the chance to defend yourself through the legal process. If you’re convicted, a neutral third-party (the judge) must make the decision to strip you of your rights. This is one reason why everybody has the right to a criminal defense attorney.
Due process also applies to other legal issues, including eminent domain. The government has the right to take your property for public use, but they can’t just seize it without compensation. Instead, they have to notify you, offer fair compensation and give you the chance to argue the matter in court.
Are you facing legal troubles?
Whether the state has accused you of a minor crime like shoplifting or a major crime like felony assault, you have the right to a fair trial. You also have the right to an attorney who can represent you during your case.
An attorney could defend you from a wide range of charges, including fraud, DUI, theft, assault, white-collar crimes, drug possession and much more. You might be able to dodge a conviction and get on with your life.