posted 2020 | State v. KJ
This was a tough burglary appeal that was won even though the trial lawyer failed to object at the most critical time of the trial. The client was charged with burglary and grand theft after being accused of entering her former boyfriend’s house, stealing 19 guitars and expensive watches. She was observed on a neighbor’s surveillance camera putting items in her car, but explained to law enforcement that she was only retrieving her personal items that she left at the residence.
After initially speaking to law enforcement, she invoked her Miranda rights and informed the detectives that she did not want to talk to them anymore without her lawyer. Despite numerous discussions before trial, the prosecutor informed the jury in opening and closing statements that the client invoked her right to remain silent. Unfortunately, her lawyer failed to object when the detective testified she asked for a lawyer and refused to answer any further questions.
When the trial lawyer fails to object at trial or fails to make a proper objection, it is much harder to win on appeal. Despite this major obstacle, Mr. Forman was able to convince the appellate court that the issue was sufficiently preserved and the court agreed. The three-judge appellate panel reversed the conviction and vacated her prison sentence! Client was thrilled with the positive outcome.