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Miami Federal Appeals Attorney

Miami Federal Appeals Lawyer

Powerful, dedicated representation for your federal appeal

In federal court, a conviction doesn’t have to be the end of the story. The U.S. The Constitution calls for people who are accused of crimes to have the right to receive a fair trial. For people who are convicted of a crime, the Constitution calls for sentencing to be proportionate to the related offense. If you or someone you know has been convicted in federal court under questionable circumstances, a Miami federal appeals lawyer can help you learn more about filing a federal appeal. David Joffe represents people who are seeking a legal remedy in criminal cases after an unfavorable ruling in federal court. When you need someone to fight for a just outcome in your case, contact Joffe Law.

Strict rules must be followed by law enforcement

Courts, attorneys, and law enforcement agencies are all required to follow rules when someone is accused of a crime. Before filing charges, the federal government gathers enough evidence to make an arrest and charge an individual for a crime. In federal cases, law enforcement agencies conduct investigations and gather the evidence the federal government uses to obtain warrants, file charges, and prosecute federal crimes. Common federal investigating agencies include:

  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
  • the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Mistakes that occur during the investigative phase of a federal criminal case may later create grounds for an appeal. Having a Miami defense attorney from the beginning of a criminal case can prevent the law enforcement and prosecutors from violating a defendant’s rights. However, defendants who are convicted based on a violation of their rights or other legal error can appeal the court’s decision with the help of a Miami federal appeals attorney.

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Common police mistakes in federal criminal cases

Law enforcement agencies process large volumes of information on a rolling basis. Agencies sometimes lack the manpower and resources to ensure every law enforcement agent follows each rule to the letter. In some cases, agents may exhibit bias and intentionally disregard rules that are designed to protect the rights of people who are under investigation for a crime. The following are common errors federal law enforcement agents make when gathering evidence.

Failure to properly secure a crime scene

When law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of a crime, before investigators can gather evidence, officers move quickly to preserve the scene. Police officers may ask people who are unauthorized to be on the scene to leave. They surround the area with law enforcement vehicles, caution tape, and other physical barriers to keep the general public away from the scene. Maintaining control of the area and carefully monitoring the people who are present reduces the risk of fingerprints becoming smudged and general tampering. Keeping the general public out limits the amount of unknown hairs, footprints, and other details that can make it more difficult to analyze the scene.

If the investigating agency fails to properly secure a crime scene, evidence from the scene may be compromised. In criminal court, prosecutors must establish their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If a court convicts a defendant based on evidence from a compromised crime scene, the defendant may be able to have the court’s decision examined more closely by filing an appeal.

Improperly collecting evidence

After securing a crime scene, federal investigators are tasked with collecting evidence from the scene. Crime scene evidence often includes:

  • footprints
  • fingerprints
  • blood
  • hair
  • weapons
  • gun residue
  • skin cells
  • drugs
  • alcohol

Organic matter like skin cells and bodily fluids can especially be fragile. Therefore, investigators must exercise care when handling and preparing evidence for storage, transport, and lab testing. Law enforcement agencies must also maintain the chain of custody from the time they collect the evidence. This means the agency must properly secure and store the evidence, document where they collected the evidence, and control access to the item to prevent tampering.

Law enforcement errors during arrests and interrogations

Sometimes, grounds for a federal appeal arises from direct interactions between law enforcement and the accused party. The following errors commonly occur during arrests, interrogations, and police interviews.

Illegal stops, searches, and seizure of evidence

People often believe a police officer can rightfully stop anyone they want, for any reason, and at any given time. Fortunately, the Constitution says otherwise. Sometimes, police officers can be overzealous or even downright unscrupulous when it comes to looking for evidence.

Before stopping someone, police are required to have a reasonable suspicion that prompts them to make the stop. Similarly, law enforcement officers must have probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest. When searching a property, the police must first obtain a search warrant from a federal judge. The police may also conduct a search if the individual voluntarily consents to the search. Obtaining evidence from an illegal stop, search, or seizure potentially jeopardizes a prosecutor’s case. In most instances, the accused party’s defense attorney will file a motion requesting the court to suppress the illegally-obtained evidence. If the court denies the motion and eventually convicts the defendant, the illegally-obtained evidence will likely be grounds for the defense to file an appeal.

Coerced confessions and failure to issue Miranda Warning

The Constitution protects people who are accused of crime from self-incrimination. When the police take a person into their custody, the Constitution requires a law enforcement officer to inform the individual of a set of protections that are known as Miranda rights. Among these rights are the right to remain silent and to retain an attorney before speaking to the police.

Unfortunately, law enforcement officials sometimes try to circumvent constitutional protections by taking people into police custody and interviewing them without informing them of their rights. In other cases, law enforcement officers behave aggressively and coerce criminal suspects into self-incrimination.

Choosing the right Miami federal appeals attorney

When filing a federal appeal, retaining a qualified attorney substantially improves the likelihood of a positive outcome. Call Joffe Law to receive the experienced, professional legal representation your case deserves. Contact us, and a member of our team will evaluate your case.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.

Serious federal cases only.