Fourteenth Amendment. This amendment says that state governments cannot deprive you of your life, liberty, or property without due process of law. It protects your right to be treated fairly by your state and local governments. Most people don't know that before the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, the Bill of Rights only protected you from unfair treatment by the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment has been used to protect you from unfair treatment by state and local governments. Due process means that members of your government must use fair methods or procedures when doing their jobs. They must use fair procedures when they make decisions. They must use fair procedures when they enforce the law.
For example, the Bill of Rights says that if you are accused of a crime, you have the right to have a lawyer help defend you. Suppose the government did not allow you to have a lawyer. The government would have violated your right to due process that is guaranteed by the Constitution.
People, their homes, and their possessions cannot be searched or taken by the government without a good reason.
In most cases, the police must get a warrant (permission from a judge) before they can conduct a search.
People who are accused of crimes do not have to give evidence against themselves.
People cannot be tried again for a crime for which they have been found innocent.
People's lives, liberty, or property cannot be taken from them without due process of law.
A person accused of a crime has the right to a speedy, public trial
by a jury (other citizens).
People must be told what crimes they are accused of.
People have a right to question the persons who are accusing them.
An accused person has the right to have a lawyer.
People arrested for crimes are entitled to be free on reasonable bail (money deposited with the court
) while awaiting trial.
If a person must pay a fine, it must be a fair amount.
People found guilty of crimes shall not be punished in cruel and unusual ways.
The fourteenth amendment due process clause also has been used .