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Criminal Cases With Overturned Conviction

gavel-3_180x120-150x119A Texas appellate court has overturned the conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for allegedly scheming to influence Texas state elections with corporate money.

A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to overturn the conviction, calling the evidence “legally insufficient,” according to court papers released Thursday. The decision formally acquits DeLay of all charges, but it could still be appealed by the government.

Just hours after the ruling was announced, DeLay visited Capitol Hill for a long-scheduled lunch meeting with members of the Texas Republican congressional delegation. Before the meeting, DeLay told reporters that he was at the “C Street House,” or National Prayer Center, Thursday morning when he heard the news.

“We were all basically on our knees praying and my lawyer calls and says, ‘you’re a free man,’” DeLay said.

DeLay, 66, was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by funneling corporate money to various candidates. Prosecutors said that the money helped the GOP win control of the Texas House and that the majority then pushed through a DeLay-organized congressional redistricting plan that sent more Republicans to Congress. The Justice Department has joined lawsuits challenging the makeup of the map, claiming it unfairly draws minority communities out of certain districts.

DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, but remained free while awaiting appeal rulings.  Full details, Source

The legal process by which decisions of a lower court are reviewed is known as the appellate process. Appellate procedures will vary greatly from one jurisdiction to the next. In the United States, when a legal decision is overturned through the appellate process, the court may reverse the lower court decision entirely or in part, or may reverse and remand the case back to the power court for further proceedings.

The United States court system is divided into the state court systems and the federal court system. Within each distinct system, there are lower trial courts, appellate courts, and a supreme court. Both civil and criminal cases may be eligible for appeal from a trial court to the appellate court. Criminal defendants have an automatic right to an appeal upon conviction in a trial court. Criminal cases may appealed to either the state appellate court or the federal courts, or both in some cases.

When a case is appealed, the appellate or higher court will review the record of the case and the briefs in support of the parties’ positions. In most cases, the court will only review the case for substantial errors made by the lower court giving deference to the lower court’s findings of fact. In some select situations, the lower court case will be reviewed de novo, or without giving deference to the lower court on findings of fact.

When a case is overturned by an appellate or supreme court, the court has two basic options. It may decide that the error was so egregious that it cannot be remedied by sending the case back to the lower court. In that case, the higher court will reverse the decision of the lower court signifying the end of the case, unless a higher court may be appealed to after the decision is overturned. The court may also remand the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. In many cases, this means a new trial

When a criminal conviction or sentence is overturned in a higher court, if the court reverses the lower court ruling entirely, then the defendant is free and cannot be recharged or retried. The conviction must be erased from his official criminal record. If the case is remanded back to the lower court, then the prosecutor has the option to retry the case or dismiss the charges. If the prosecutor decides to retry the case, then the defendant must defend the charges all over again. When a sentence is overturned, the higher court may simply adjust the defendant’s sentence, or they may send that case back to the lower court for another sentencing hearing.


West Palm Beach Fraud Defense Lawyer

Both state-level and federal-level fraud convictions come with serious penalties as well as consequences that will affect you the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for any kind of fraud offense in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can defend you in your Florida case and any federal case arising from the same actions. When considering a criminal defense lawyer as part of your strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.

Andrew Stine is a qualified West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney with 10 years of experience, including a stint as public defender. He is passionate about defending the rights of alleged offenders, and as a former army medic, has a militant attention to detail that can be beneficial in Florida fraud cases. For more information on what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your fraud charges in the Palm Beach County area, call today and schedule your free initial case consultation.

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