What types of due process violations might support an appeal?

The road to an appeal can be long, as a recent story reminds us. Specifically, the story profiled a 63-year-old Tennessee man’s request for a new trial. The man alleges that a missing pretrial transcript was not considered by the Court of Appeals. 

The mistake may be traceable to the man’s first attorney, who did not attach the entire trial record to the appeal request. On that basis, the appeal was thrown out. The man has since obtained new counsel, and his appeal request is pending.

There may be other grounds in support of the man's appeal, as well. According to the man’s new counsel, a viable defense of unconstitutional seizure was never argued, and several witnesses may not have been properly interviewed.

As a law firm that focuses on criminal trial defense, as well as appeals, we have seen how important it is to assert every defense that may be available to an accused. Our appellate law practice focuses on finding instances of where an accused’s due process rights were violated. The types of violations can vary, involving improper jury instructions, improperly admitted evidence, or improper criminal procedures.

Yet more is required in a successful appeal than just finding a due process violation. Causation between that error and the verdict or plea arrangement must also be established. Finally, the playing field of an appeal is also different than the lower court trial. First and foremost, the appellant’s brief can make a tremendous initial impact. Our law firm has the experience to produce such persuasive writing, making for a strong appeal case.

Source: Times Free Press, “Post-conviction hearing for 2010 burglary reveals long road of appeals for 63-year-old prisoner,” Zack Peterson, May 19, 2016

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