Month: April 2018

Moving On: How to Find New Purpose After a Conviction

You messed up. Whatever the case is, you now find yourself on the wrong end of the justice system. You are dealing with all the things that come with a legal case: tons of legal fees, pain with your family, and perhaps incarceration.

This is a tough time, but you need to stay focused and get through this. The following are some ideas to help you find renewed purpose in your life.

Stay Positive

For many people, a legal conviction can begin a downward spiral in their lives. They lose hope and start making mistakes that hurt them more. You need to avoid this.

This whole situation is a test in your life, and if you believe in yourself, then you can make it through. You need to know that you are capable of building a positive and productive life for yourself in the future. Do not let negativity snowball into a bad pattern.

 

Remember Your Family

Getting a conviction can many times hurt our relationships with our families and loved ones. Sometimes it is the financial strain that breaks a relationship. Other times it is just the pain that comes with the situation.

You owe it to your family to be better. Do what you can to make amends and show them you are capable of changing. Deal with this legal situation: do your service, do your time, whatever it is. Then start to move on and begin rebuilding.

 

Find the Right Attorney

A good attorney can make all the difference in the world. A good attorney will help you navigate through a situation to the best possible outcome. It is essential you hire someone who knows what they are doing and has your best interests in mind. According to a DWI lawyer in Austin TX, even a small misdemeanor should be handled by someone skilled in more complex criminal charges for the best possible outcome.

Turn your Life Around

Once you have dealt with the legal situation of your conviction, it is time for you to begin turning your life around. For many people this can mean finding new work and a means of supporting themselves. Your attorney may be able to help you find a program for people with convictions that can help you do this.

 

A legal conviction is not the end of the world. It is up to you to decide how you want to look at this. Will this be the situation that defines you for the rest of your life? Or will you use it as a wakeup call to begin rebuilding your life in a better way? You and only you have the power to find new purpose after this conviction.


How Common is Prosecutorial Overreach in the United States?

Our mission is to help those who have been accused or convicted of a crime get back on their feet. If this is you, you know that this is an uphill battle. There are forces in this world that are hellbent on keeping you down. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions, one of these forces is the prosecutor’s office themselves.

Prosecutorial overreach runs rampant in U.S. courts, both at the state and federal levels. Law enforcement and prosecutors perceive the need to play tough to build cases and secure convictions. While being tough to get results may be part of their job descriptions, many fail to recognize that playing fair is also their duty.

 

The Brady Rule

 

 

 

 

 

Criminal law provides for crucial procedures and rights designed to provide the accused with the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, in conjunction with the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments. When prosecutors decide to take a win-at-all-costs mentality, they are tempted to cheat, or at least cut corners. When they cheat, they violate defendant’s constitutional rights. Unfortunately, this results in many defendants being convicted of crimes they did not commit – or the punishment won’t fit the crime.

One of the most common forms of prosecutorial overreach is a violation of the Brady rule. This rule requires prosecutors share any exculpatory evidence with the defense. Exculpatory evidence, which shows a defendant’s innocence, usually winds up in the hands of prosecutors as a result of law enforcement investigations. For example, a police report of a witness’s description of a suspect that does not match the defendant would be exculpatory. When prosecutors fail to turn such a piece of evidence over to the defense, they violate the Brady rule.

Judge Says Brady Rule Violations Are Epidemic

In 2013, the Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, wrote in a judicial opinion, “There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.” The judge went on to say he believes judges must work harder to stop these violations. In the case, he wrote the opinion for, prosecutors failed to turn over information that the scientist who conducted forensic testing in the case had a history of providing wrong information in criminal law cases, including intentional misconduct that resulted in the conviction of innocent people.

Prosecutors Facing Little Oversight

 

 

 

 

Part of the problem stems from the fact that prosecutors face too little oversight. As the system works, prosecutors have the discretion to decide what qualifies as exculpatory. Since they are under high pressure to win cases, there is a tendency toward bias in making these determinations. When courts find that prosecutors have withheld exculpatory evidence, prosecutors rarely face serious consequences.

Overreach from a prosecutor, whether from a Brady violation or other misconduct, greatly diminishes defendant’s rights to a fair trial. Defense attorneys work hard to keep prosecutors honest by demanding all exculpatory evidence, and when exculpatory evidence is withheld, they demand the dismissal of wrongful charges.

 Image Credit: Eric Harron Criminal Defense

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