What does it mean to be a Patriot Lawyer?
Patriotism is defined as loving or being devoted to one's country. Being a Patriot Lawyer means defending the ideals and concepts that define THIS nation....The United States of America. A Patriot Lawyer defends more than just an individual client. A Patriot Lawyer defends the concepts of Due Process, Liberty, Freedom, and the Rule of Law. A Patriot Lawyer defends principles and sees every governmental inspection of a man and his actions as a likely infringement of his God-given freedoms as an American. Our nation's best ideas are thankfully written down in wonderful documents, our State and Federal Constitution. A Patriot Lawyer fights for the spirit defined in those constitutions.
“The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the constitution is itself in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.”
Alexander Hamilton: Federalist No. 84, 1788
The Constitution of the United States is one of the most important documents in human history. For over two hundred years the U.S. has been the envy of the world. It is the guiding force behind the greatest democratic government, economic and military power the world has ever or will ever see.
Our constitution begins, “We the people…,” for a very good reason. Our Founding Father's believed that power derives only from the consent of the governed. Any law that does not follow the constitution is void. A Patriot Lawyer's job is to defend the Constitution of the United States.
I have taken an oath to protect our constitution on three occasions, once in the U.S. Navy, once as a police officer and again while being sworn into practice as a lawyer. Defending our constitution is a duty I freely have taken upon myself, and one in which I am eternally dutiful and proud to adhere.
The Bill of Rights
“A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on Earth…”
The Bill of Rights are the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is particularly important to criminal defense lawyers. While the entire constitution may be a “Bill of Rights,” of sorts, these first Ten Amendments are the cornerstone of our individual freedoms. The Bill of Rights was actually put into the constitution several years after the constitution was first ratified, or accepted by the states. The Bill of Rights serves as a type of contract between the federal government and the people. The Bill of Rights are:
1st Amendment – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, Assembly and Press and Religion, and the Freedom to address grievances against the government.
2nd Amendment—The Right to Keep and Bear Arms. THIS RIGHT SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED
3rd Amendment – Soldiers cannot take over your home and be housed there without consent of the home owner.
4th Amendment— Search and Seizure provision that protects your right not to be searched without probable cause and a warrant.
5th Amendment – This one is a good one…. I'll just quote it, but to sum up, Keep your Mouth Shut!
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment 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 time of war or 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.
6th Amendment – The right to a speedy trial, the right to a lawyer, the right to a jury trial in a criminal matter, and the right to face your accusers.
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 have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
7th Amendment – Trial by jury in civil cases
8th Amendment – No excessive bail or cruel or unusual punishment
9th Amendment – The people have more rights than enumerated in the constitution. Right's come from God and the consent of the governed
10th Amendment— All right's not explicitly given to the federal government within the constitution is given to the states.
The Bill of Rights will come into play in almost every criminal trial or criminal defense matter in the State of Alabama or in Federal Court. If you are stopped by a police officer for a DUI, the 4th, 5th, 6th,7th and even 8th Amendments could be a defense in your legal matter for instance.
The Bill of Rights: A History
James Madison wrote the amendments, which list specific prohibitions on governmental power, in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties. For example, the Founders saw the ability to speak and worship freely as a natural right protected by the First Amendment. Congress is prohibited from making laws establishing religion or abridging freedom of speech. The Fourth Amendment safeguards citizens' right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in their homes through the requirement of a warrant. The Bill of Rights was strongly influenced by the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason. Other precursors include English documents such as the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights, and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties.
One of the many points of contention between a group known as The Federalists, men such as John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (who advocated a strong central national government) and The Anti-Federalists, men such as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and George Mason (who wanted power to remain with state and local governments) was the constitution's lack of a Bill of Rights that would place specific limits on government power. Federalists argued that the constitution did not need a Bill of Rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. Anti-Federalists held that a Bill of Rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty.
The government is not your friend. Prosecutors, governments, police and others in power take advantage of that power in many ways. Our country's Founding Fathers were smart enough to provide our nation with a roadmap for good government. It's up to Patriot Lawyers everywhere in Alabama to defend our rights enumerated to us by God and our constitution.
I have written a previous blog on this subject that you may find interesting. Read https://www.patriotlawllc.com/what-makes-a-good-alabama-criminal-defense-attorney