History Of Cases And Protected Interests Of A Person In Substantive Due Process Definition

Substantive Due Process
Substantive Due Process

The most obvious requirement of the substantive due process definition clause is that states afford specific procedures (“due process”) before depriving individuals of particular interests (“life, liberty, or property”).  

Although it is probably the case that the framers used the phrase “life, liberty, or property” to be a shorthand for vital interests, the Supreme Court adopted a more literal interpretation and requires individuals to show that the interest in question is either their life, their liberty, or their property if the claim doesn’t fall into one of those three boxes, no matter how important it is, it doesn’t qualify for constitutional protection.  

substantive due process
Substantive Due Process

Substantive Due Process Definition Serves Two Basic Goals

One is to produce, through fair procedures, more accurate results: to prevent the wrongful deprivation of interests. The other goal is to make people feel that the government has treated them fairly by listening to their side of the story.

In general, the more critical the individual rigid ht in question, the more process must be afforded. No one can be deprived of their life, for example, without the rigorous protections of a criminal trial and particular determinations about aggravating factors justifying death. 

On the other hand, suspension of a driver’s license may occur without many of the same protections.

This case demonstrates the Supreme Court’s approach to critical questions concerning the procedural due process.

Board of Regents v Roth shows how the Court has defined “property” interests for purposes of the due process clause. The case involved the decision of a public college not to renew the contract of an untenured professor.

The Court concluded that the professor had no “liberty” interest in any specific teaching job and that he had no “property” interest in his career because he lacked “a legitimate claim of entitlement” under state law to his job. 

The Court noted that he would have had such a claim of entitlement had he been tenured because then the college would have had to make a specific showing of poor performance to sustain its dismissal. 

Without a legitimate claim of entitlement to his job, the Court reasoned, there is nothing to have a hearing about. Property interests, the Court stresses, must be found in the statutory or common law of the jurisdiction regarding the substantive due process definition. 

Also: Is Misdemeanor A Crime?

A misdemeanor is a less serious criminal offense than a felony and more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by a fine and incarceration.

The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor crime is usually a fine and up to one year in county jail. However, when there are multiple misdemeanor charges, the fine can be hefty, and the sentencing can include possibly more than a year in county jail. 

Often, the District Attorney will charge an individual with multiple counts. These counts can be found on the Charging Docket.

For more information on understanding substantive due process definition, click here.

Common Misdemeanors

Some Misdemeanors may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor or considered a “wobbler” in the Criminal Law world. Some of the charges that we assist with are the following:

  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Under the Influence of a controlled substance
  • Drunk in Public
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Spousal Battery
  • And other misdemeanor offenses

Court Process When Charged With A Misdemeanor

In general, four significant steps occur in a criminal matter.

  • First, the Arrest by law enforcement. If you were booked into jail, the next step is contacting a local bail bond agent to bail you out of jail. Or you have the choice to stay in custody. If you are employed or other family obligations, bailing out of prison may be a no-brainer for you. Is a misdemeanor a crime? Click here to find out.
  • Second, the arrangement. This is often your first appearance. By this point, you will know the charges against you. Your first appearance is one of the most important appearances. This is the first time a Judge will see you in person and is often the first time your lawyer can engage in negotiations with the District Attorney.
  • Third, Pretrial. Pretrial is just before the case proceeds to trial. Often, individuals do not get to the Pretrial phase if they received a “deal” from the District Attorney during earlier proceedings.
  • Fourth, the Trial. Before Trial (the daunting fourth step in the process), obtaining Discovery is one of the most critical aspects of your case.


Substantive due process definition is a principle allowing courts to protect certain fundamental rights from government interference.


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