Assault and Armed Criminal Action Case Dismissed
Manslaughter and Three Counts of Assault by DWI Sentence Significantly Reduced
Murder in the 1st Degree Life Sentence Vacated
A man convicted of murder to the 1st degree hired Ms. Bernsen to represent his appeal. They fought for a post-conviction relief and she was able to get his murder 1st conviction and vacated his sentence. He has a second chance at life now.
Property Damage Charges Charge Dismissed
A man that broke down a door to his own home was facing misdemeanor property damage charges. Mr. Mulenkamp filed legal pretrial motions on his behalf, which convinced the Court that no crime was committed. The State dismissed the charges before trial.
Several Counts of Felony Possession of Child Pornography Charges Dismissed
A man charged with possession of child pornography on his computer had all of his charges dismissed after Mr. Mulenkamp proved the defendant never saw or downloaded any of the images. The State dismissed all charges.
Statutory Sodomy Not Guilty
A man facing statutory sodomy charges which carried a 10 year minimum sentence and sex offender registration was declared not guilty at trial in less than one hour.
Stealing a Motor Vehicle Charges Dismissed
A man was charged with a felony for stealing a motor vehicle. The state waited two years to file the charges and Mr. Muhlenkamp filed a motion to dismiss the charges due to a new law that reclassifies this as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The state also missed the one-year statute of limitations. which means they had no choice but to dismiss the charges.
Stealing Thousand Dollars Worth of Goods Charges Dismissed
Felony stealing charges were found as a misunderstood business transaction after Mr. Muhlenkamp filed numerous discovery motions showing the charges were going nowhere. The State dismissed the case.
Transportation of Drugs No Jail Time. Probation Continued.
A man on felony probation was found with possession of controlled substances. He was convicted of transporting 16 pounds of marijuana in another state. Mr. Mulenkamp kept the man out of jail and probation continued as normal.
Two Counts of Robbery in the First Degree Case Dismissed
A St. Louis County man was charged with two counts of robbery in the first degree and armed criminal action, felonies that carried a potential sentence of life in prison. The alleged victim’s prior identification of Mr. Muhlenkamp’s client was only the product of a Facebook search on his friend’s cellphone that proved to be completely unreliable. The judge dismissed the case and the State agreed not to reissue charges.
St. Louis Criminal Appeal Lawyer
Helping Clients Revisit Convictions Made in Error
If you or a loved one is sitting in jail thinking about your appeal, let us help you. Some criminal convictions are reached in error, meaning that your constitutional rights may have been violated or your attorney ineffectively represented you at trial. You have a constitutional right to appeal the case, and the St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at Muhlenkamp & Bernsen, Attorneys at Law can help you navigate the appellate process, from direct appeal to post-conviction relief to habeas corpus relief.
We understand the criminal appeals process and use our knowledge and extensive experience to seek relief for clients who have been convicted of a crime.
Post-Conviction Relief vs. Appeal
Two of the most effective ways to challenge your conviction are the Direct Appeal and Motion for Post-Conviction Relief.
If you were convicted after a trial and want to appeal your conviction or sentence, you need to file what is called a Direct Appeal. Your right to a direct appeal exists in every state and federal court. Most of the time, it is the first step that needs to be taken to challenge an unjust conviction or unfair sentence. Here, you are raising claims of “trial error.”
Common trial error claims include:
- Improper jury instructions – If the jury in your case received unclear instructions or was given improper instructions, then your appellate attorney can review those instructions and seek relief from the court of appeals.
- Improper admission or exclusion of evidence – The judge may exclude or admit evidence improperly during the course of a trial. Review of the trial court’s evidentiary rulings is critical. One piece of evidence can make or break a case. Don’t let improperly admitted or excluded evidence break you! Call today and we can discuss your options.
- Improper arguments made by the prosecution – There are times when the prosecution uses arguments that are not relevant to the case or that are designed to appeal to a judge or jury’s emotions instead of sticking to the facts at hand. Sometimes this can lead to reversible error, especially when the prosecuting attorney relies heavily on inflammatory evidence in its closing argument.
- Insufficient evidence to convict – It is important to have your case reviewed to ensure that there was enough legally admissible evidence to convict you.
There are many factors that can go into the outcome of a case, and having an effective appellate attorney on your side can help the appellate court determine if the trial court committed an error. This is the first step to obtaining a new trial. From there, we will use our experience to craft an Appellant’s Brief and zealously prosecute the appeal.
If you are unsuccessful on your direct appeal, your next step is to file a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief. If you went to trial and lost, you will file what is called a Rule 29.15 Motion (if you plead guilty, it is called a Rule 24.035 Motion). You cannot raise any claims you did not raise on your direct appeal and there are very strict deadlines with which you must comply. The most common claim raised in this proceeding is Ineffective Assistance of Trial or Appellate Counsel.
In evaluating what claims to file, some questions to ask yourself are:
- Did your trial counsel fail to object to inadmissible evidence?
- Did your trial counsel fail to investigate the case?
- Did your trial counsel fail to prepare for cross-examination?
- Did your trial counsel present a viable theory of defense?
- Was your trial counsel’s trial strategy “reasonable?”
- Did your trial counsel discuss with you whether you should testify? If so, did they prepare you to testify?
- Did your trial counsel give you good advice?
- Did your trial counsel discuss possible outcomes with you?
- Was the counsel effective at advising you about the strength of the state’s argument, thus advising you to plead guilty?
- Was coercion, fraud, duress, or misapprehension a factor in the guilty plea?
Again, there are hard and fast deadlines that are strictly enforced by the courts. It is imperative to speak to an experienced appellate attorney immediately. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the appellate process and can review your case expeditiously in order to seek a better outcome.
When evaluating your case on appeal, we will review what happened and how you got to where you are. We will explain the appellate process to you. You will not be left wondering what is going on. Too often we hear of people who are very confused about where they are on their appeal—they are lost in the appellate system. The appellate process can be confusing. Let us help you. Let us give you a voice.
Contact our St. Louis Appellate Attorneys
We have the experience you need. As your advocate, we will do what we can to remedy any errors that occurred, be it in your trial, your plea, or your sentence. Call us today for a free consultation where we can help you determine what options you have.
Exclusive Focus on Criminal Defense
Over 25 Years of Combined Experience
Extensive Experience with Appellate & DWI Cases
Free Initial Consultations
A strong defense begins with a strong offense. At Muhlenkamp & Bernsen, Attorneys at Law, we will scrupulously evaluate all angles of your case in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome and to help you restore your freedom and reputation.