There are many reasons to appeal a criminal case, and if valid, it is a good idea to do so. However, if you want to appeal because you suspect that the prosecutor broke the law, then that is an even better reason. In its idea, the law is supposed to be just. However, there are many things that muddy up those clear waters, and one of them is the sheer job of a prosecutor in its very nature.
They are supposed to prove that criminals broke the law as it is written, but the unfortunate things is that some prosecutors are more like bulldogs rather than legal representatives. To these few, it is not about seeing justice done, but rather it is about getting that win. In order to pursue the “win” they will do anything, and when that “anything” is illegal, it is prosecutorial misconduct.
What Constitutes as Prosecutorial Misconduct?
If you want to appeal specifically due to prosecutorial misconduct, your lawyer can help walk you through it. However, in cases of prosecutorial misconduct, you can have the convictions thrown out and the case trial started over completely fresh and not as an appeal. In order to do this, however, you need to be able to prove prosecutorial misconduct. Examples of prosecutorial misconduct in action include anything that falsely sways the jury or the judge during the course of a trial. This includes:
- Withholding evidence from your defense lawyer
- Using fake or otherwise unproven facts during the trial
- Bringing up inadmissible evidence in order to sway jury opinion
- Declaring personal opinions about the case or the defendant
Responding to Prosecutorial Misconduct
In most cases, your defense attorney should be able to shut this down this conduct inside the courtroom. However, for as much as a judge can tell a jury to disregard something, you can’t take it back once it is out there. This is the innate problem of the legal system and why it allows bulldog prosecutors to thrive. You can’t legally change what is in someone’s head, and if you put the right idea out there in a persuasive way, it will give the jury something to think about regardless if they are told not to. It derails cases and can result in wrongful convictions. If prosecutorial misconduct played a factor in your case, then a swift appeal should be pursued to get a better outcome.
If prosecutorial misconduct can be concretely proven by your defense lawyer, then it is grounds for a fresh trial instead of an appeal. This can be beneficial to your case since the facts can be laid out anew unlike in appeals where you need to provide new compelling factors. It is often the better idea to throw out a conviction and pursue a new case, but the unfortunate thing is that it can be difficult to provide concrete proof of prosecutorial misconduct. Judges don’t often find it compelling evidence that something was said, especially when they told the jury to disregard it.
Not all appeals are based on the event of prosecutorial conduct, but whether or not your case was derailed and this was the reason, you shouldn’t just accept that verdict. If you have been arrested for a crime or even already convicted and stuck with a lawyer that doesn’t want to appeal, contact us today. In our consultation, we can go over the facts of your case and find if there is a clear way to victory. Let the Anderson Law Firm come to your aid today to help you with your criminal case or any following appeal process.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.