Constitutional Law – 5 Sources of Legal Authority
1. Constitutional Law
• Constitutional Law (the people’s rights) Bill of Rights first ten amendments written in 1791 “for the people not the government” United States Constitution Preamble We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The Bill of Rights Ten amendments added to the Constitution in 1791. Originally twelve amendments were submitted for approval. Only ten were approved. Since the Bill of Rights was written, additional amendments have been added.
1st Amendment “Congress cannot pass any law making any religion the religion of the United States, or take away the freedom to worship as one pleases. Congress cannot take away or restrict freedom of speech or freedom of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assembly. 1) Freedom of Religion 2) Freedom of Press 3) Freedom of Speech 4) Freedom of Assembly
2nd Amendment: Right to keep and bear arms
4th Amendment “The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” 1) Unreasonable Search and Seizures
5th Amendment “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentation or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in the time of war of public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” 1) Indictment of Grand Jury 2) Double Jeopardy 3) Due Process
6th Amendment “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall previously have been ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” 1) Right to a speedy trial 2) Right to an impartial jury 3) Right to hear charges made against you 4) Right to hear witnesses against you 5) Right to have witnesses in your favor 6) Right to have lawyer
8th Amendment “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excess fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” 1) No Excessive Bail or 2) Cruel and Unusual Punishment US Constitution place many restrictions on the conduct of government officials (police and agencies) and other divisions of the justice system. The constitution says little about one citizen’s rights over another, security is not an agency of the government. There are 6 areas which do exist in the constitution and apply to private investigators:
There are 6 areas which do exist in the constitution and apply to private investigators
Act as agent for public law enforcement
Act in conjunction with law enforcement
Obtain evidence for use in a prosecution, for law enforcement personnel
Have deputized police powers/special police
Granted limited police powers, by a licensing or regulatory body (DCJS) (SCOP)
Public Authority (Animal Control Officers)
When private investigators are hired under contractual basis by a private citizen, they are acting with authority of State law, and subject to constitutional restrictions in their use of their power.
Original Jurisdiction. Having jurisdiction to hear a case for the first time with the outcome based on law and fact
Appellate. Having jurisdiction to hear a case on appeal from lower courts with the outcome based on law
Concurrent Jurisdiction. Having jurisdiction to hear cases of deterrent subject matter.
2) Federal Judicial System
U.S. Magistrates or Judges
Have (original) jurisdiction over the following:
Trials and dispositions
We are in the 4th U.S. District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
4th District covers South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland
Virginia Judicial System
Magistrates issues criminal warrants, sets bonds and accepts bonds and is available 24 hours a day
General District Court
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse cases are heard in Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
A Deputy Clerk may not issue warrants.
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