Each and American is protected by the rights established in the U.S. Constitution. Those rights are the most important protection that we have against the state when it seeks to investigate, charge, and convict people of crimes. Without these rights acting as a check against the state, we would each be left on our own without the strong rights and presumptions that exist because of the U.S. Constitution.
Among the rights afforded to us through the Constitution are the rights to remain silent in front of the police. The right to an attorney in a criminal trial, and others. One of the most important rights we enjoy as U.S. citizens is the right to due process under the law. This applies in both criminal and civil cases, but it is most important in criminal cases because of what is at stake in a criminal prosecution.
The grant of due process rights is found twice in the U.S. Constitution. it is found once in the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees the people the right against the federal government taking life, liberty, or property from anyone without due process of the law. It is again found in the Fourteenth Amendment where it is made to apply to all the state governments.
The second Due Process Clause was passed and implemented as part of the Constitution following the civil war. In fact, passing and implementing this clause became a key component of allowing the southern secession states back into the Union with full rights as states. This amendment was seen as a protection for the people, particularly recently freed citizens, from becoming victims of too aggressive state actions.
The Due Process Clause applies in many different ways when it comes to DWI cases. One of the most important ways that it applies is that it requires that the laws of the state of Texas be applied equally to every person accused of DWI. As an example, this means a prosecutor could not charge someone with a DWI who had a BAC of less than .08 because that is the legal limit for BAC (barring any other evidence of DWI in the case). This is important because it requires the law be applied equally across the board to everyone who comes into contact with it.
In another way the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment is important because it brings other rights with it through incorporation. Once the Constitution required the states to apply due process of the law to all people, the Supreme Court determined this meant the state had to extend all of the rights in the Bill of Rights to the state governments and citizens because they are essential to a free and democratic society.
It is one thing to have a right, and it is another thing entirely to defend that right. If you are accused of DWI then you need an experienced, talented legal team to ensure that your rights are defended and advance to your benefit. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm defending the rights of those accused of DWI is primarily what we do. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.