Your Appeal Is Your Last Best Chance To Right A Wrong

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Can you appeal a criminal conviction on constitutional grounds?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Federal Appeals

All too often, law enforcement officers overstep their legal boundaries, leading to constitutional rights violations during the arrest process.

Suppose you were convicted of a federal offense and believe your rights were violated during your arrest. In that case, you may wonder if you have grounds to appeal your conviction. As stipulated by the Department of Justice (DOJ), it’s unlawful for law enforcement officers to willfully deprive or conspire to deprive an individual of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. But does this mean you can appeal your conviction?

How constitutional rights violations may affect your situation

Constitutional rights include protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to due process and the right to legal representation. When police officers violate these rights during an arrest, it can have significant implications for the validity of any evidence collected and any subsequent conviction.

One important concept to consider when assessing the impact of constitutional rights violations on a criminal conviction is the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule states that evidence obtained in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights is generally inadmissible in court.

This means that if the police violated your rights during the arrest, any evidence they obtained as a result of that violation may be deemed inadmissible. In some cases, the exclusion of crucial evidence may weaken the prosecution’s case and provide a basis for appeal.

What are grounds for an appeal?

To successfully appeal a criminal conviction based on constitutional rights violations, you have to prove that the police conducted a search without a proper warrant, without probable cause or without obtaining your consent. And suppose the evidence they obtained was seized without adhering to provisions in the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, it may be subject to exclusion.

Other grounds for appeal in your case may include the following:

  • Coerced confessions because your fifth amendment right protects you from self-incrimination
  • Denial of legal representation since the sixth amendment guarantees it
  • Racial profiling or discrimination, although it can be difficult to prove

Appealing a criminal conviction based on civil rights violations involves navigating a complex legal process. Therefore, seeking professional legal assistance is crucial to better ensure that you understand the specific requirements involved.