In 2011, 42-year-old Betsy Kwasny was convicted in Berrien County Trial Court of check fraud and perjury. She is serving three prison sentences for allegedly swindling a retired couple and two women in in 2008 and 2009 in by credit card fraud and check scams, according to a news article at The Herald Palladium.
Kwasny was sentenced to two 5 to 22 1/2 year terms for perjury and subornation of perjury after she was found guilty of inducing a defense witness to lie on the stand. Because of her status as a habitual offender, Kwasny was also sentenced to 3 to 21 years in prison for uttering and publishing a fraudulent check.
Kwasny appealed her convictions to the Michigan Court of Appeals, arguing that Trial Court Judge Charles LaSata erred by allowing one trial for several similar charges. She also argued that evidence was allowed regarding a prior criminal record. The appeals court panel rejected her arguments, but remanded the uttering and publishing case to Trial Court for a new order of restitution.
Appealing a conviction is no simple matter, as all Michigan criminal appeals attorneys are aware. However, mistakes are made every day in the legal system, leaving innocent people facing punishment for crimes they did not commit. In some cases, an individual may feel he or she was sentenced unfairly in accordance with state sentencing guidelines. Judges, juries, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement are required to uphold the law. Unfortunately, mistakes are made which can devastate the lives of those accused and cost them their freedom.
Individuals who are found guilty of a crime they did not commit may be eligible to file an appeal based on several factors which may include juror bias or misconduct, failure of the judge to properly instruct the jury, ineffective counsel, and more. If you have been wrongly convicted or feel that the sentence given you was inappropriate, consult with a highly experienced Michigan criminal appeals lawyer at once.