What is Due Process of Law in the Context of a Connecticut Criminal Prosecution or Investigation?

"Due process of law" is a phrase that means many things. It appears in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution; and in Article first, section 8 of the Connecticut Constitution.

In short, it requires that the procedures and laws used by the federal and state governments must be fair and just. Due process is the basis of many of the rights given to people accused of Connecticut crimes.

The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to the federal government and provides in part: "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..."

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to the states and provides in part: "... nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Also, Article First, Section 8 of the Connecticut Constitution provides in part: "No person shall be ... be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law...."

There are two types of due process: procedural and substantive.

Procedural due process requires the government to use fair and just procedures when investigating, charging, and prosecuting a person. Depending on the circumstances, it either requires or prohibits certain actions by the government.

Substantive due process requires all laws to be related to a reasonable government objective and capable of being enforced in a fair and legitimate manner. If a law violates this requirement, it is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.

It is beyond the scope of this FAQ database to list all things required or prohibited by procedural or substantive due process.

At Advocates Law Firm, we aggressively and creatively analyze the government's actions for violations of the constitution and take all appropriate steps if we believe doing so will advance our clients' ultimate interests.

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