Opportunity to be Heard Law and Legal Definition
Opportunity to be heard means the chance to appear before a court or tribunal to present evidence and argument before being punished by governmental authority. An opportunity to be heard before penalty or punishment is imposed for contempt is an indispensable essential to the administration of due process of law as contemplated by the constitutional inhibition. Notice and an opportunity to be heard are the hallmarks of due process. However, due process does not always require an adversarial hearing. The violation of a state statute outlining procedure does not necessarily equate to a due process violation under the federal constitution. An opportunity to be heard ordinarily includes the following three rights:
the right to receive fair notice of the hearing;
the right to secure the assistance of counsel; and
the right to cross examine adverse witnesses.
In Sharpe v. State, 560 So. 2d 1107 (Ala. Crim. App. 1989), the court observed that “Opportunity to be heard" is synonymous with the phrase "opportunity to object," which, of necessity, requires notice that the consolidation has been requested. When used in a different context, the phrase "opportunity to be heard" may be synonymous with the term "hearing."”