We recently discussed some common factors that appear in appeals of criminal cases. The tie that binds criminal conviction appeals together is that the defendant is working hard to show that he or she didn't commit the crime. In some cases, DNA evidence might be used to prove this.
In general, the institutional bias in the U.S. court system is to keep the trial court's rulings in a matter. That doesn't mean an appellate court won't overturn a trial court – it happens all the time. What it does mean is that in criminal defense matters, when the defendant is not happy with the outcome at trial, the onus is on him or her to show that an error was made in the trial or decision.
Finding out that you are being charged for criminal activities is a horrifying experience. As you embark upon the process, you might wonder exactly what different things in the criminal justice system mean. It is important that you understand how different things can affect you, your case and your rights.
Any Cocaine Results in a Felony
Missouri has no law on the records that results in a misdemeanor for possessing cocaine. Simple possession for personal use is rated as a Class C felony. If convicted, this will be reportable to anybody conducting a background check on you and stays there for your entire life.
If you have been following our blog, you have read our discussion on a surveillance device that St. Louis police officers have been using to track targeted cellphones. The technology built into the StingRay device tricks cellphones into providing data by mimicking transmissions from cellphone towers without notifying cellphone owners. The device is portable, enabling law enforcement to drive through streets capturing information from the targeted phone and any other phones that are in close proximity. That the police can capture data and have been employing these devices covertly concerns the ACLU and other civil liberties organizations. These groups fear this data retrieval amounts to a warrantless search.
Prosecutors in Missouri are having to change up some criminal charges after a ruling by the state's Supreme Court. The issue that the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling caused is that many of the charges that defendants are facing are now considered invalid. This means that prosecutors have to either amend the charges or drop them.