June 28, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

Felony Conviction Reversed when Prosecutors Fail to Turn Over Evidence to Defense: Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Appeals Lawyer to Win Your Case

The Federal Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a defendant who had been found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm due to prosecutorial misconduct. The defendant had been sentenced to prison and now will be given a new trial where he can attempt to prove his innocence. This happened because the defendant was wise enough to appeal his conviction.

The key witness for the prosecution was a person who had a serious criminal background.
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The defense attorney representing the accused made a motion to receive all information pertaining to the prior criminal record of the witnesses for the prosecution. Many of the prior arrests and convictions were not turned over the defense prior to trial. The defendant was found guilty.
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After trial it was determined that in fact the star witness for the prosecution had a serious criminal record. The defendant made a motion for new trial. The prosecutor claimed that he could not recall what information he had. However, it was clear that law enforcement knew all about the witness’s prior criminal record.

The trial judge denied the motion for new trial. However, the accused was wise enough to appeal that denial.

The federal court of appeals held that the conviction must be reversed. The court stated that the defendant is entitled to any relevant evidence that might be favorable to the accused whether it be in the possession of the prosecutor or any investigating police officers that are working on the case. The prosecutor could not claim “ignorance” and when a discovery motion is made, he must make certain he speaks to the police officers working on the case to determine what information exists that law enforcement may have that might be helpful to the accused.

At a new trial, the accused now can present to the jury that the star witness against him has an extensive criminal record. It is likely that with this new key information a new trial may result in the accused being found not guilty and freed from custody.

What this case shows is that you need to always have a gifted criminal defense attorney who can make a proper discovery motion when you are facing a criminal charge. You also need an experienced criminal appellate law firm working for you if you are found guilty at trial. It was only due to both outstanding criminal lawyers working together that made it possible for the defendant in this case to receive a new trial.

When you are facing a criminal charge, it would be a very smart decision to contact a skilled California criminal defense appeals lawyer from Wallin and Klarich at 1-888-280-6839. We have been helping people for over thirty years when they are accused of a crime or find themselves convicted of a crime. We will be there when you call or you can visit us 24/7 at wklaw.com.

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