Dianes Case: How Constitutional Rights Can Be Violated During the Investigations and Hearing Processes

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In the justice system, the process of juvenile prosecution operates differently from criminal prosecution. This is apparent from the method in which the juvenile and criminal court systems operate. In the Juvenile systems, there are certain processes and considerations that both the prosecution and defense must take notice of in a juvenile case. This essay considers Dianes case and explores whether her due process and constitutional rights were violated during the investigations and hearing processes, as well as arguments for her defense and prosecution. The essay also discusses how her case would have been handled differently in the federal system as well as an appropriate court-ordered option available based on the fact pattern from the defense attorney and prosecutorial perspectives.

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Dianes Due Process and Constitutional Rights

During The Investigation

Dianes due process and constitutional rights were violated by the police during the investigation. This is because the Diane was denied her Miranda rights at the time of her arrest. The law dictates that any juvenile that is taken into judicial custody must be accorded his/her Miranda warnings before he/she can proceed to the questioning stage (Champion et al., 2013). However, Diane was directly questioned while at the station for two hours without being read her rights.

During The Hearing Process

Dianes due process and constitutional rights were not violated during the hearing process. This is because after being charged by the police, she and her counsel were petitioned by to appear before the local court. This is in accordance with law as she was tried in the same state that the crime was committed. In addition, the hearing was held within the statutorily mandated time, which means that she was accorded her right to a speedy trial.

Arguments in Defense of Diane

Dianes counsel could move to apply the defense of entrapment. The term entrapment is a practice in the field of law that occurs when an enforcement agent coerces another person to perform a crime, which he/she would otherwise not have committed (FindLaw, 2016). This would suggest that Diane committed the crime but was induced to do so by another party working with the authority so that she could be prosecuted in the event they were apprehended by the police. In addition, the defense may assert that Diane was willing to return the stolen property. However, this may not be a viable defense, but it could possibly reduce the penalty to be imposed in her case.

Arguments in Prosecution of Diane

The prosecutor may charge the plaintiff with a shoplifting charge. Shoplifting denotes to the action of knowledgeably taking items from an establishment, in which they are exhibited for sale, without purchasing or paying for them (FindLaw, 2016). The prosecution may assert that Diane willingly concealed and took possession of items that were offered for sale by Moes Convenience Store and then attempted to run away from the store without paying for them. In addition, the prosecution may prove that Diane had the intent of depriving Moe the possession of his own items without paying the purchase price of the goods. Also, when confronted, Diane chose to run away with Jack proving that she was not coerced. All these factors would support the prosecutor claim of shoplifting.

Handling Dianes Case in The Federal System

Contrary to the justice system at the state level, the federal justice system possesses no separate juvenile justice system component (Legal Information Institute, 2016). As such Dianes case would be adjudicated by the U.S District Court Magistrate. It would also be a closed hearing and without a jury. Once proved to be a delinquent, Diane would then attend a disposition hearing in which she would either be ordered to pay restitution, committed to a correctional facility or be placed on probation.

Appropriate Court-Ordered Options

From the defense perspective, Diane should be ordered to pay restitution asserting that she was indeed coerced into committing the theft by Jack when they visited the store. As such, she would be left off with a warning. However, from the prosecutorial perspective, Diane should first be ordered to pay restitution and then be placed on probation as well. This is given that she has actively taken part in the crime and confessed to it.


In summary, it is evident that the juvenile court justice system takes into account certain processes and considerations when dealing with juvenile cases. As such, in Dianes case, her due process and constitutional rights were denied during the investigation. In addition, her defenses arguments would emphasize that she was coerced into crime. Nevertheless, the prosecution in a juvenile court would proclaim that she participated in the crime willingly by walking out of the store with stolen goods. In light of these factors, the court order option would be restitution with a warning or restitution with probation according to the defenses and prosecutorial perspectives respectively.


Champion, D. J., Merlo, A. V., & Benekos, P. J. (2013). The juvenile justice system: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

FindLaw. (2016). Shoplifting - FindLaw. FindLaw. Retrieved 21 September 2016, from http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/shoplifting.html

FindLaw. (2016). Theft Defenses - FindLaw. FindLaw. Retrieved 21 September 2016, from http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/theft-defenses.html

Legal Information Institute. (2016). 18 U.S. Code 5032 - Delinquency proceedings in district courts; transfer for criminal prosecution. LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 21 September 2016, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/5032

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