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Criminal Law: Criminal Procedure

Differences between the due process model and the crime control procedure model

The due process model assumes that arrested persons are innocent and not punishable by law until a court of law proves that they are guilty e.g. if a person is arrested for having taken a bribe from a potential employee, the accused is assumed to be innocent until a court of law proves that he is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. The crime control model relies entirely on facts given by the police concerning the arrestee and believes that such people ought to be punished based on facts from the police. For instance, if a person is accused of having committed murder and the police have facts to support the case, he is treated as if he is guilty.

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A due process model is preferred by the court since it treats all citizens equally including those who have been accused of criminal acts and protects their rights. this can be illustrated by the fact that the courts allow the accused to defend his case and even outsource the services of a lawyer if he so wishes. However, the law enforcers favor the crime control model since they believe that the arrested persons are already guilty based on facts and should therefore be prosecuted and convicted without further delay.

The due process model favors a fair public trial that should be conducted within the shortest time possible and guards against unreasonable search and seizure. For instance, if a person is to be arrested or seized unreasonably, a warrant and proper legal procedures should be followed. The crime control model on the other hand doesn’t pay attention to individual rights and seeks to maintain order through crime reduction. As such, a person should be denied his rights if public safety is at risk. If a person is suspected to be a murderer, he should be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted based on facts gathered.

Though the two models differ in a number of ways, they have some similarities in that, both models recognize constitutional values; this means that both systems have constitutional limits that should be strictly followed and therefore the police and other law enforcers should not act on a person unless that person has broken the law. For instance, a person can’t be punished for choosing to be a Muslim instead of a Christian since there is no violation of the law.

Another striking similarity is that both models acknowledge that individuals are entitled to some level of privacy as stipulated in the constitution. For example, a person cannot be forced to walk naked publicly as a form of punishment even if he has violated the law.

Both propositions seek to protect the public and ensure reduction in crime and therefore don’t allow harassment of the public. For example, an innocent person cannot be punished unless the police or court of law have proof that the person is guilty.

Performance of search and seizure by the police

The police cannot perform searches and seizures based on their good faith evaluation; however, they can perform the same if the search is reasonable. This is because, the fourth amendment is against such acts if they are unreasonable. To be precise, a reasonable search is one that is conducted following a warrant to do so and there must be a good reason for the warrant issue. However, if an unreasonable search or seizure is to performed, the warrant must be validated, i.e. supported by an affirmation, giving details of who is to be searched or seized and the specific place.

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Evidence that may be searched under warrant

Evidence of crime: description of the specific place to be searched should be given and only that place should be searched. If a person is illegally restrained by another party or person, a search warrant of the specific location could be used to gather such evidence.

Contraband: This refers to goods or anything possessed or sold illegally. Under such circumstances, a specific description of the goods should be provided and search place.

In case of property designed or intended for use, as well as person to be arrested, a detailed description of such a person or item should be given such as height and weight.

Lastly, in case of a person who is unlawfully restrained, the warrant should include the details of where the person is to be searched and description of the person such as color, height, sex, age and so on.

Police right to check the registration number and driving license

The police do not have a right to stop a moving automobile to check the registration number as well as the drivers driving license unless there is a probable cause that would make the police believe that the car contains contraband or evidence of a crime. Therefore, it can be concluded that police officers should not stop moving automobile for a search if there exists no proof.

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