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Criminal Appeals Archives

Criminal convictions play an important role in the justice system

We recently discussed the fact that criminal appeals must have a valid basis. This is to say that you can't just say that you don't like a penalty and appeal based on that fact alone. Instead, you need to have a reason that falls within the scope of the law to file an appeal. We know that this might be something hard for you to determine, but we are here to help you.

Do I qualify for a drug diversion program?

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you may be surprised to hear that there is a way to get out of hefty fines and jail time. While drug court is sometimes considered a program for younger offenders, the state of Missouri offers an adult drug diversion program for older residents who do not qualify for the juvenile program. If you qualify, you may be able to avoid the life-altering punishments that typically await those accused of drug crimes.

What are common ways to appeal criminal verdicts?

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.

How much cocaine is a felony in Missouri?

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.

Missouri protection of cellphone privacy

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.

Appeals must be handled in very specific ways

The appeals process is an all-or-nothing process. Once a court rules on the case, your only option is to appeal it to the next higher court. Once you run out of courts, your appeals are exhausted. If you recall, we discussed how the appeals process works in our previous blog post.

What are some points I should know about criminal appeals?

If you pay attention to the news, you have likely heard about appeals being filed in criminal cases. If you are currently facing a criminal case, or if you have been convicted of a crime, you might have some questions about appeals. Understanding some basic points about appeals might help you determine a course of action.

Why might a writ be used?

A writ is a document that is sometimes used when an appeal is no longer possible, such as when an appeal has already been made to the higher court. The case can't be appealed to the same higher court multiple times, but writs can be used numerous times, giving defendants some legal options without having to appeal to the next ruling body. A few reasons that a writ may be used include the following:

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