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Komie and Associates

Chicago State and Federal Appeals Lawyer

Illinois trial lawyer for state and federal appeals

Attorney Representing Clients in Federal and State Trials and Appeals Throughout Illinois

Criminal and civil trials can be complicated endeavors, and there are certain rules and procedures that must be followed. In criminal trials, prosecutors will zealously pursue convictions, especially in cases involving alleged drug crimes, and legal errors are often committed during these trials, resulting in a wrongful conviction. During civil litigation, a judge or jury may improperly interpret the law, resulting in an unjust verdict. When these types of errors occur, it may be possible to appeal the decision.

The decisions made in civil and criminal trials can affect your life for years to come. Being found guilty of criminal charges can result in severe consequences such as fines and jail time. Losing a decision in a civil case can result in major financial hardship. In these cases, you need an experienced attorney who will protect your rights and ensure that the law is followed correctly.

A History of Success in Appeals

Attorney Stephen M. Komie has over 40 years of experience litigating and appealing criminal and civil cases. He has argued five appeals cases before the Illinois Supreme Court, and he has won numerous appellate victories, including:

  • The landmark case of U.S. v. $506,231.00, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's ruling and ordered seized funds to be returned to Mr. Komie's client.
  • The People of the State of Illinois vs. Cox, in which Mr. Komie's client was convicted of felony DUI under a statute that the Illinois Supreme Court had previously declared unconstitutional. The Illinois Appellate Court reversed the conviction.

Mr. Komie can help you determine whether an appeal is the best approach to take in your civil or criminal case and aggressively advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.

Grounds for Appeal

While judges and juries in civil and criminal trials will make their rulings based on the facts of the case, an appellate court will review the trial for legal errors. In order for an appeal to be successful, the person making the appeal (known as the appellant) must show that an error was made in the trial and that the error affected the case's outcome. Some common grounds for appeal in civil and criminal trials include:

  • Improper admission of evidence - In criminal trials, evidence which was obtained illegally, such as drugs or money which were seized without a search warrant, is not legally admissible in court. In civil trials, pertinent evidence such as documents or financial records can only be admitted if it was obtained through an improved discovery motion. If improperly obtained evidence was used in a trial, an appellant has grounds to appeal the verdict.
  • False arrest - A false arrest occurs when someone is arrested without probable cause or a proper warrant. If a defendant is convicted of a crime for which they were falsely arrested, they may be able to appeal the verdict.
  • Lack of evidence - In a criminal case, the prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence presented during the trial was not sufficient to meet this standard, the verdict may be appealed.
  • Sentencing errors - Judges must follow certain rules when sentencing someone convicted of a crime, and they must provide reasons for the sentence they choose. If a judge did not follow proper sentencing procedures or made an error in sentencing (such as imposing consecutive sentences when concurrent sentences would have been appropriate), the defendant may be able to appeal the sentence.
  • Inequitable verdict - In a civil trial, if a defendant is ordered to pay an amount of money that would be financially impossible for them, they can file a motion for relief of judgment and ask to have the amount reduced to a realistic figure.
  • Ineffective counsel - Everyone has the right to be represented by a competent attorney. If an appellant can show that their attorney failed to effectively represent them, and this inadequacy influenced the outcome of the trial, they may be able to appeal the decision.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct - Prosecutors can behave unethically during a criminal trial in a variety of ways, such as by withholding evidence that could prove a defendant's innocence. A defendant who is convicted after a prosecutor breaches their code of ethics may have grounds to appeal the conviction.

A Dedicated Defense Attorney On Your Side

With his years of experience representing clients in state, federal, and international trials and appeals, Mr. Komie can provide the defense you need in both criminal and civil cases. If you have been convicted of a crime or lost a civil case due to legal errors, the skilled attorneys at Komie and Associates will work with you to determine your best options for appealing the verdict and/or sentence. Contact a Chicago appeals lawyer today at 312-263-2800 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Illinois and throughout the United States.

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