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Practice Definitions - Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law
Constitutional law deals with the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution. As the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, Constitutional law deals with some of the fundamental relationships within our society, which includes relationships among the states, the states and the federal government, the three branches (The Executive, Legislature, Judiciary) of the federal government, and the rights (e.g., human rights and civil rights) of the individual in relation to both federal and state government.

Because the supreme court plays such an important role in interpreting the constitution, study of Constitutional Law focuses heavily on Supreme Court rulings. Some of the most familiar topics of Constitutional law are the due process clauses, freedoms of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the Bill of Rights.

Do criminals have Constitutional rights?

Yes, criminal defendants, like everyone else have constititutional rights. Some of them are outlined below:

Right to an Attorney - Defendants have the right to an attorney, and if they can't afford one, the court will appoint one for them at no charge.

Right to a Jury Trial - Defendants have the right to a speedy, public jury trial. At the trial, the defendant is presumed innocent, and cannot be convicted unless twelve impartial jurors are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt.

Right to Confront Witnesses - Defendants have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses testifying against them.

Right Against Self-Incrimination - Defendants have the right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves (5th ammendment), and the right to testify on their own behalf.

Right to Produce Evidence - Defendants have the right to present evidence and to have the court issue a subpoena to bring into court all witnesses and evidence favorable to them, at no cost to them. If you are charged with a crime, you should immediately hire a lawyer that has experience in understanding and applying court decisions that interpret the Constitution and its Amendments in areas such as criminal procedure, due process, right to counsel, Miranda issues, search and seizure protections, and grand jury proceedings to protect your Constitutional rights.
Should I hire a lawyer?
Constitutional law attorneys are well versed with the law and the application of court decisions that interpret the Constitution and its amendments in areas such as affirmative action and discrimination; freedom of speech, press, and religion; search and seizure protections; eminent domain; voting rights; prisoners' rights; freedom of information; and grand jury proceedings. If you feel your Constitutional rights have been violated (whether or not you are criminal defendant) or you've been accused of violating someone's Constitutional rights, use the State Lawyers Directory to find a Constitutional law attorney that's best for you and your legal situation.

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