In most cases a decision or judgment from Justice Court or the District Court is not necessarily the final word on the matter being contested. This is because there is typically a process by which a decision can be appealed to a higher court or division.
Appeals come in many forms and include the appeal of a judgment from a district court in a civil case to the Nevada Supreme Court. It also includes the appeal of a criminal conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court. An appeal could also be in the form of a Judicial Review of an Administrative Decision, such as the revocation of driving privileges by the Department of Motion Vehicles or an appeal of a denial of an application for a contractor’s license by the Contractors Board. Regardless of the type of appeal involved, The Wright Law Group, P.C. is well equipped to handle your case from beginning to end.
Appeals of District Court Judgment in Civil Cases
Appeal of Criminal Conviction
Appeal of Judgment from Justice Court
Appeal of Contractors Board Denial of Application
Appeal from Administrative Decisions
Appeal from DMV Revocation of Driving Privileges
Appeal of Decision of County Commission
An appeal involves many steps that must be taken in a timely fashion, otherwise the right to appeal may be forever lost. One needs to recognize and appreciate the importance of having the right team of advocates in your corner. The Wright Law Group, P.C. has more than 28 years of experience handling appeals and is well equipped to assist you in handling your case. Please call us at 702-405-0001 to schedule a consultation or email us.
Success Stories – Civil and Criminal Appeals
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Here are just a few examples of the many cases that we have successfully appealed on behalf of our clients:
Finley v. City of Henderson, and the State of Nevada (Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 76715)
We were retained to represent our client in a Petition to seal his criminal records, which included multiple prior convictions in the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. The District Attorney and the City of Henderson both opposed client’s Petition. The crux of the dispute between client and the City of Henderson was the application of the required waiting periods in NRS 179.245. Finley argued that NRS 179.245 allows for the sealing of all prior criminal records if the Defendant remains trouble free after his most recent criminal conviction. The City of Henderson argued that NRS 179.245 does not permit record sealing if the Defendant is convicted of any other crime during the waiting period set forth in NRS 179.245. The trial court agreed with the City of Henderson and concluded that, because Finley obtained other convictions during the time periods set forth in NRS 179.245, Finley was ineligible to seal his records.
On appeal, we argued that the City of Henderson and the district court’s rationale leads to an absurd result, because as applied by the district court, record sealing eligibility is determined by the order in which the district court reviews the Defendant’s prior convictions. For example, the district court reviews a criminal history in chronological order (meaning from oldest to newest), the district court necessarily concludes that the Defendant cannot seal the older conviction because the newer conviction renders him ineligible. Conversely, if the district court reviewed the same criminal history in reverse chronological order (meaning from newest to oldest), then the outcome is much different because there is no later conviction to disqualify the Defendant from seeking to seal all prior records.
On appeal, the Nevada Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the judgment of the district court. In reversing the district court, the Court of Appeals ordered the district court to “…first [conclude] that [client] had satisfied the requisite waiting periods to file a petition to seal with respect to all of the convictions he listed in [his] petition.” The Court of Appeals went on to say that on remand, the district court must then consider whether to seal client’s most recent conviction before considering any prior convictions.
This decision is monumental because it represents the first time any appellate court in Nevada has given any opinion or guidance regarding the order in which a Defendant’s criminal history should be reviewed when considering a petition to seal records. This is the first decision in Nevada to say that Nevada’s record sealing process is based a determination of whether a Defendant has remained trouble free after his last, or most recent, criminal conviction.
State v. Sueishi No. 17588: Conviction for Criminal Property Damage- OVERTURNED for NEW TRIAL.
A retired dentist was found guilty by a jury of felony criminal property damage for maliciously kicking and damaging another person’s vehicle while he exchanged heated words with the driver in road-rage incident. Client fired his trial counsel and hired us to handle the appeal. An examination of the record revealed no fault with any of the judge’s rulings, nor with the level of evidence. However, if the damage to the vehicle had been less than $500 to fix, the case should have been treated as a misdemeanor and not the felony the client had been convicted of. The problem was, the client’s trial lawyer never put a competing expert on the stand to controvert the cost of repairs submitted by the prosecution. If the evidence isn’t in the record at trial – you can’t bring it up on appeal. So, we argued on appeal that the trial judge should have sua sponte, or, on its own, presented the jury with the option of a misdemeanor – simply because the jury could believe or not believe the State’s witness on the cost of repairs. The State Supreme Court agreed, overturned the conviction and sent the case back for a new trial based on this argument, which had been raised for the first time on appeal.
State v. Hinton No. 19109 (Appeal): Conviction for Promoting a Dangerous Drug 2nd Degree– Vacated and Remanded for Judgment of Acquittal.
We were retained to handle the appeal and post-conviction after client was convicted of two drug trafficking counts and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Of the two counts, the first was thrown out on appeal based on the argument that the State failed to properly qualify its expert witness concerning the testing of the cocaine seized as part of a sting / controlled buy operation. This left the second count to be challenged after the appeal, by way of Post-Conviction Proceeding. (See disposition below).
State v. Hinton No. 94-1004 (Post Conviction Proceeding): Conviction for Promoting a Dangerous Drug, First Degree- Vacated along with 20- year prison sentence.
Having successfully thrown out one of the two trafficking charges on direct appeal (see above) we then pursued a Post-Conviction Petition alleging that the client’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to raise an absolute defense. In this case, local police teamed up with U.S. Army criminal investigators to set up a sting operation whereby undercover officers would pose as buyers and purchase drugs from suspected dealers located near, but off, a military base. However, the use of federal troops to enforce civilian laws is prohibited by the Posse Comitatus Act, passed in 1878 to stop abuses during the Reformation after the American Civil War. The Act is rarely invoked and even rarer still successfully used as a defense in criminal cases. The process involved putting both the prior defense counsel and the prosecutor on the stand, as well as deposing the Army investigators. Once it was established that the investigation had focused on a civilian, it was incumbent upon civilian law enforcement to take over and the Military to stand down. Instead, the Army investigators went back for a second purchase. Trial counsel failed to recognize the theory of the defense and never raised an objection at trial, resulting in his conviction. At the conclusion the Post-Conviction phase, the Court found that the arrests violated the Posse Comitatus Act as well as the State Constitution, and went on to rule that the prosecution should be denied of a forum to bring its tainted charges. The Judge threw out the remaining conviction and its 20- year prison term. Counsel personally delivered the Court’s order and walked the client out of prison free of all conditions.