In general, the word “conviction” means that, after trial, the jury has returned a verdict of “guilty” on at least one criminal charge. Post-Conviction Appeals Very broadly, the legal phrase “post-conviction appeal” means any effort that occurs after conviction by a jury of one or more criminal charges that seeks to overturn, nullify, or modify… Read More
What is Appellate Jurisdiction?
Breaking Down Appellate Jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction refers to the ability of an appeals court to review and make decisions on cases heard by trial courts as well as other types of “lower” courts. To navigate appellate court cases, many people find it vital to obtain the assistance of an experienced appellate lawyer. It also helps… Read More
Post-Conviction Appeals Based on Juror Misconduct and Social Media Use/Access
Criminal defendants are entitled to due process. One crucial component of due process is that a criminally accused be given a trial “by an impartial jury.” In this regard, the United States Supreme Court has held that the impartiality of a jury is compromised by “any private communication, contact, or tampering directly or indirectly, with… Read More
Unreasonable Delay in Seeking Warrant Might be Grounds for Post-Conviction Appeal
When law enforcement officials seize property — like a vehicle, a briefcase or a laptop computer — as part of a criminal investigation, law enforcement is required to obtain a warrant from a judge for a subsequent search of the contents. If there is probable cause, the police are allowed to temporarily seize the property… Read More
What Does “Remand for Further Proceedings” Mean?
When appellate courts resolve post-conviction appeals, if the appeal is successful, the appellate court will complete their ruling by ordering that the case be “remanded for further proceedings.” Sometimes a phrase is added requiring that the further proceedings be “consistent with this opinion.” So, what does “remand for further proceedings” mean? “Remand” is a judicial… Read More
What is a Suppression Hearing and How Can it Help My Criminal Defense or Post-Conviction Appeal?
A “suppression hearing” is a proceeding conducted before a criminal trial judge that involves a motion to suppress or exclude evidence from being used at trial. Almost always, suppression hearings are conducted before the criminal trial begins. In federal criminal proceedings, Rule 41(h) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs motions of this sort…. Read More
Circumstantial Evidence and Post-Conviction Appeals
Generally speaking, in a criminal trial, there are two types of evidence presented — direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. The first type of evidence is testimony or documents from a person who claims to have personal actual knowledge of some fact that is relevant to the case. Circumstantial evidence is proof of a chain of… Read More
Can Prosecutor’s Use of “Prior Bad Acts” Evidence Lead to Reversal on Appeal?
There is a general doctrine in criminal law called the “prior bad acts” doctrine. This is a rule of exclusion. The doctrine generally prohibits the prosecution from introducing and using evidence of an accused’s prior crimes, wrongs, or other “bad acts” to show “bad” character, a propensity to criminal behavior or that the accused acted… Read More
Erroneous Jury Instruction as the Basis for Post-Conviction Appeals
Under US constitutional law, all criminal trials must be conducted before juries. Generally speaking, the jury’s role is to hear the evidence and make a determination of innocence or guilt. However, after all the evidence has been presented and before the jury begins to deliberate, the judge must give instructions to the jury. In a… Read More
How Do I Appeal a Federal Court Decision?
When the United States government convicts you of a federal crime such as bank robbery, insurance fraud, or embezzlement, your criminal trial takes place in one of the 94 district courts across the country. Your district court hearing takes place in a location closest to where the government alleges you committed the crime. If convicted… Read More