Experienced Montgomery Attorney Fights Fifth Amendment Due Process Violations
Passionate civil rights lawyer defends your guarantees of liberty
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens numerous rights in criminal and civil proceedings. Unfortunately, aggressive law enforcement and prosecutorial tactics often trample on these important protections. Fortunately, when your civil rights are threatened, McGuire and Associates is ready to deliver the passionate representation you need to ensure due process. If you or a loved one is the target of a criminal investigation or prosecution, you can trust our determined civil rights firm to provide skilled advocacy and fight for a just outcome.
How the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects your rights
The Fifth Amendment lists several specific protections along with a generalized right to due process.Major aspects of your Fifth Amendment protections relate to:
- Grand jury indictment — No one can be charged with a “capital” offense or an “infamous crime,” unless a grand jury returns an indictment. This means that in every serious felony case, a group of citizens must agree that the state has evidence to suggest that the defendant was likely to have committed the crime in question. Defendants can challenge the selection of grand jurors who have any material interest in the case. Grand juries have broad discretion to investigate crimes but cannot engage in “fishing expeditions” that do little more than harass a potential defendant. A defendant has a write to challenge the finding of a grand jury by filing a written motion to dismiss the indictment.
- Double jeopardy — A defendant cannot be put on trial twice for the same offense.
- Self-incrimination — Authorities cannot compel a witness to offer testimony against himself. This right restricts the police from using physical force or threats during interrogation; using enhanced interrogation techniques, such as sleep deprivation, to force a confession; or holding a defendant without charging him. Under the Supreme Court’s landmark Miranda decision, police must inform a defendant of his right to remain silent and the consequences that anything he says can be used against him in court, immediately upon arrest. If a suspect in a crime is coerced into making a confession, the defense attorney can move to have the confession and any subsequent evidence gained from the confession excluded at trial.
- Due process — The guarantee of due process safeguards your right to a fair hearing by holding the government to certain standards of fair play in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The government cannot withhold evidence against you from your attorney, drag out the case against you, or use other unfair means of getting a conviction.
- Civil forfeiture — The Fifth Amendment also protects defendants from a seizure of their property without due process. Unfortunately, this right has been trampled time and again by civil forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize property they believe has either been used to commit a crime or is the fruit of criminal activity. In effect, authorities take and hold the property before proving the elements of their assertion in court. Civil forfeiture can cause a defendant public humiliation, inflict business losses, and unfairly deny the defendant access to assets that could be used to pay for a defense.
If your Fifth Amendment rights are threatened, you can trust McGuire & Associates to deliver passionate and professional advocacy that safeguards your freedom.
Trust our Montgomery civil rights law firm to protect your Fifth Amendment rights
McGuire & Associates protects the full range of our clients’ Fifth Amendment rights in criminal proceedings in Montgomery and throughout Alabama. To schedule a free consultation with a passionate civil rights lawyer, call us at 334-651-8891 or contact our Montgomery office online. Our office is located at 31 Clayton Street, convenient to I-85 and I-65.