This is the next post in our series on the handling of Little Rock, Arkansas criminal matters which involved confidential informants. Our last article discussed challenging an informant’s credibility in Court. It is important to understand that such individuals typically have questionable backgrounds and it is possible to convince a jury that their testimony should not be believed. It is important that you retain a criminal defense attorney with substantial trial experience in order to make sure that your case is handled properly. In this article we will be discussing the options for appeal after a trial conviction. If you need assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
We have previously explained the process for appealing an Arkansas criminal conviction. Those same procedures will apply to convictions which involve an informant. The process will begin by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Circuit Court. Each side will designate the parts of the Trial Court record, which they wish to use on appeal, and the Appellant will file his or her opening brief. After the prosecution files a response the Appellant will file a Reply brief. Most appeals are decided without oral argument before the Court. How long the process will take is entirely up to the Court.
Appellate issues involving informants often involve whether warrants should have been issued based on the statements or claims of a C.I. We previously discussed the possibility of challenging warrants which were based on the claims of an informant. If the Court erred in denying a Motion to Suppress Evidence, or to quash a warrant, then such an error may be raised on appeal. The Appellate Court will decide whether the officer had a sufficient reason to find the C.I. reliable and whether that reliability justified the issuance of a warrant. There are three possible outcomes to such an appeal. First, the Appellate Court may affirm the decision (meaning it can uphold the Trial Court’s ruling). Second, the Court can remand the matter back to the Trial Judge to make additional determinations. Finally, the Court can reverse outright and hold that the warrant should have been quashed. In some instances this can lead to a dismissal of the charges.
The Appellate Court can also decide whether the jury erred in believing any testimony offered by a C.I. Challenges to a jury verdict are difficult, but not impossible, to win on appeal. If you need assistance then call our office to speak with a Little Rock criminal appeals attorney. Our lawyers have over twenty-five years of combined legal experience and they are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.