The first step in overturning a conviction is an appeal. This process entails requesting the review of a higher court to the judgment of a lower court. An appeal requires a higher court to assess if any errors were made that would justify overturning the original ruling.
When it comes to problems of fact, the Las Vegas criminal conviction appeal court will not reverse a verdict and substitute its own choices for the jury. When deciding how to continue, the appeals court will consider whether the law was appropriately applied and if the conclusions were suitable.
When you find yourself in court, facing a criminal trial, it’s important to understand your legal rights and what grounds you may have for appealing a verdict. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of appeals that are available to you and explanations to the grounds on which they may be successful.
Reasons To Appeal A Criminal Case
Verdicts in Las Vegas criminal cases are appealable. There are a variety of reasons to which you would appeal the verdict in a criminal case. This may include improperly allowed evidence, inaccurate jury instructions, or a lack of sufficient evidence to sustain a guilty finding. All of which would undoubtedly lead to legal mistakes in the initial ruling.
Reasons Criminal Verdict Appeals Are Successful
- Improperly Allowed Evidence
- Inaccurate Jury Instructions
- Lack of Sufficient Evidence
- False Arrest
- Jury Misconduct
- Prosecutorial Misconduct
- Due Process Violations
Improperly allowed evidence
In a criminal trial in Las Vegas, improper admission of evidence is a major issue that can lead to a reversal of the criminal verdict. Evidence that should have been excluded from the trial because it was obtained in an improper manner can result in a new trial.
Improperly allowed evidence can come from a number of sources. Identifying the source of improperly allowed evidence and the evidence itself is essential. This may include sources such as:
- Police Interviews that were not recorded or were improperly recorded/conducted
- Circumstantial Evidence
- Heresay or Improperly Collected evidence
If you believe that evidence was improperly allowed at your criminal trial, consult with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to determine your available legal options.
Inaccurate jury instructions
A criminal conviction might also be overturned if the defendant has reasonable grounds to suspect the jury acted unlawfully in their discussions during the trial. One reason would be to prove drug or alcohol misuse during deliberations or the trial by a jury member. Another example would be if jury members had inappropriate contact between each other, witnesses, or attorneys. Jury misconduct can take many forms, all of which, when proven, are reasons a court may approve an appeal. Sometimes, even the instructions given to the jury were wrong, and this can provide a basis for a new trial.
Lack of sufficient evidence
Arguments created to discredit evidence used in a criminal conviction can result in a lack of sufficient evidence. At Conviction Solutions we work to review and discredit each piece of evidence. This is performed by showing how evidence was collected as well as the argument each piece of evidence holds. We may be able to prove that evidence wasn’t collected properly, was circumstantial, or not credible. As we hedge away at their validity individually we are able to cast doubt on the ability of the prosecution to maintain a sufficient amount of evidence to convict.
False arrest, also known as false incarceration or unlawful arrest, is when someone is taken into custody without sufficient evidence. Considered both a crime and wrong on a civil level, false arrest is grounds to establish a case for damages. Assume a police officer arrests someone for insulting the officer or doing something else the officer personally disapproves of. Insulting a police officer is not a crime and unless the officer has further grounds to arrest the person, the officer is breaking the law if they arrest the civilian. This is an obvious and rare example, but illustrates how this may be used to overturn a wrongful conviction.
Misconduct can be proven simply by showing jurors didn’t properly notify outside influences in an appropriate manner. In fact, misconduct of jury can be proven if anyone or anything attempts to influence jury members outside of the courtroom, deliberation room, or in sequestering. Jurors are required to report to the court any breach of the judge’s instructions not to discuss the case outside the jury chamber.
One example of jury misbehavior is when jurors bring in outside information not provided to them during the trial. In one case concerning a car accident, a juror personally went to the scene of the accident and drew a diagram of the intersection. They brought this diagram and a book on state traffic rules into the jury deliberations. This was a clear cut case of jury misconduct.
Prosecutorial misconduct is challenging to prove, but in cases where it can be applied an appeal should be granted. Any abuse of power or deviation from protocol and processes by the prosecution can result in a prosecutorial misconduct appeal. State prosecution teams have significant authority over most aspects of a criminal case, including initiating the investigation, determining what charges to pursue, and proposing a sentence after conviction. Prosecutorial misconduct can occur at any point along this process.
Some examples of prosecutorial misconduct may include:
- Entrapment (inducing a person to commit a crime who was not otherwise disposed to do so)
- Bringing criminal charges in bad faith with no plausible chance of winning in court
- Accusing a personal opponent or bringing charges in retribution
- Making false comments to the press that can prejudice a jury pool
- Making misleading statements of fact or law to the jury
Due process violations
Due process provisions are utilized by the courts to ensure limits on the power of government in trial proceedings. These provisions establish due processes that require the government to follow particular procedures before restricting anyone’s right to life, liberty, or property. Any violation of this process could be grounds for an appeal.
Do you have reasons to appeal your verdict?
You are not without choices if you have been convicted of a crime. Verdicts in criminal cases must have legal grounds to have an appeal approved based on the critical legal errors made in the first trial. A skilled criminal defense attorney at Conviction Solutions will be able to evaluate your criminal conviction and find any potential concerns that may give you an opportunity to appeal.
Contact Conviction Solution to Receive a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Appeal
Conviction Solutions was founded by Jamie Resch. We have been winning criminal and VA claims denial appeals for years. Trust our proven track record of success. The firm approaches each criminal defense, personal injury, and civil rights issue with a winning mindset.
Las Vegas criminal verdicts are typically appealed on grounds that the original trial was unfair, the evidence was insufficient, or the defendant was denied a fair trial. In order to win an appeal, a criminal defendant must demonstrate that the trial court made an error that resulted in a miscarriage of justice. Let us build a case for your appeal.