Representative Appellate Decisions

Steve Benjamin & Betty Layne DesPortes Criminal Trial and Appellate Practice in all Courts

Disclaimer: Because the facts and circumstances of each case vary, no previous results, rulings, or judgments are predictive of the outcome in any other case.

Shebelskie v. Brown, 752 S.E.2d 877 (2014)(contempt convictions reversed where trial court abused discretion in sanctioning attorneys where their position was warranted under existing law)

Commonwealth v. Hilliard, 270 Va. 42, 613 S.E.2d 579 (2005) (Murder conviction reversed where police ignored defendant’s invocation of right to counsel)

Peyton v. Commonwealth, 268 Va. 503, 604 S.E.2d 17 (2004)(revocation of defendant’s suspended sentence was reversed because failure to complete program was based on unforeseen medical condition)

Commonwealth v. Hicks, 264 Va. 48, 563 S.E.2d 674 (2002) (City of Richmond trespass polices in public housing communities violated the First Amendment)

Husske v. Commonwealth, 252 Va. 203, 476 S.E.2d 920 (1996), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 1154 (1997)(Due process requires state to provide forensic expert assistance at state expense upon appropriate showing of need)

Brown v. Commonwealth, 246 Va. 460, 437 S.E.2d 563 (1993) (Murder conviction reversed where court refused proffer of cross-examination)

Battle v. Commonwealth, 50 Va. App. 135, 647 S.E.2d 499 (2007)(conviction for disorderly conduct charge reversed and arrest warrant dismissed)

Humphrey v. Commonwealth, 37 Va. App. 36, 553 S.E.2d 546 (2001)(trial court erred in refusing defendant’s requested necessity instruction)

Webb v. Commonwealth, 32 Va. App. 337, 528 S.E.2d 138 (2000) (Constitutional challenge to Virginia’s mandatory caps on court-appointed compensation)

Commonwealth v. Benjamin [no relation], 28 Va. App. 548, 507 S.E.2d 113 (1998) (Defendant’s statement suppressed where officer’s recitation of Miranda was incomprehensible)

Cox v. Warden: Obtained habeas release of an innocent Virginia man who had served 11 years of a life sentence for a murder he did not commit. See, e.g., Editorial, Strange Justice in Virginia, The Washington Post, August 16, 2001; Editorial, [Injustice in Russia] . . . and in Virginia, The Washington Post, November 12, 2001; Editorial, Another Exoneration, The Washington Post, November 15, 2001; Editorial, Injustice, Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 12, 2001; Editorial, 11 years . . . and 21 days, The Free Lance Star, November 19, 2001; Man May Walk Away After 11 Years in Prison, Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 14, 2001; “Put Your Shoes On: Cleared Inmate Hears Magic Words That Mean Freedom,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 15, 2001; Murder Conviction Erased Based On Recent Evidence, The Washington Post, November 14, 2001

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