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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33752
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I was convicted of assault by threat several months ago. I

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I was convicted of assault by threat several months ago. I intended to appeal but was told there was no stenographer or transcript of my trial. Do I have any means of appeal? I thought it was a requirement of all courts to keep records of trials. How can I defend myself from injustice when there is no record if the injustice?
Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

I was just about to sign off an noticed your question had been pending a while so I wanted to respond and then we can continue tomorrow morning.

I do have a few questions:

Did you have a lawyer?

Do you know if they made a tape recording or digital recording of the trial?

Was it a trial to the judge or a jury trial?

Also, "How can I defend myself from injustice when there is no record if the injustice?" appears to be a rhetorical question. Could you list out your specific questions for me so I can be sure and provide an answer to all of them?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I had no lawyer. They said that had no recording or transcript. It was a trial by judge. I recieved a guilty verdict based solely on the testimony of the individual I allegedly assaulted, even though he testified that I did not threaten him or make any threatening gestures. We had an argument and I said, "I'll see you around" and walked away from the confrontation. The statement was not a threat for I was referring to my astonishment I was found guilty. I asked and recorded a conversation with the Lt. Of the CID and he stated the charge was not correct and if he had been on duty at the time there would never have been a warrent issued because according to him I did not commit a crime. Yet the judge has found me guilty and it seems like there are no options for me to clear my name. Any advice would be appreciated. I feel like I'm playing a game against cheaters who define the rules. What can I do?without a transcript how can I prove the trial was flawed, because the burden of proof lies on the state, and they failed to prove anything by even the most laxidasical standards. Thanks
Unfortunately, if you defended yourself then the burden was on you to be sure that there was a transcript being made. Some courts use tape recorders to make the initial recording and they are later transcribed if there is a request.

What level of court was the trial in? (i.e. Municipal, Justice, Chancery, District, etc)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Municipal Court is not a court of record unless you specifically request a court reporter. The reason is that the appeal from Municipal Court is either to Chancery Court or County Court, depending on your County, and the appeal is a "trial de novo" which means it starts all over so there is no need for a record. What happened in Municipal Court doesn't matter since it is an entirely new trial so it isn't an "appeal" as most people think of it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How do I pursue this course of action in Mississippi. What do I need to do?
You need to look at Rule 12.02 of the Uniform Circuit and County Court Rules. You can see it at

Follow the specific procedures set out in that rule.

However, there is a time limit on appealing, 30 days from the date of judgment. If you missed that deadline then you can try and file a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief but those are extremely hard to do and you are definitely going to want to hire a lawyer for that. You probably want to hire one for the appeal anyway.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
On the issue of my defending myself, I was read my Miranda rights when I was arrested. The particular thing that intrigues me is the statement," you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you". This was the first time I was ever involved in a criminal sure it was my own ignorance of the way things work but I thought prior to the trial I would have been appointed a lawyer to defend me. Can you explain what I would have had to do to get a lawyer appointed to me since I could not afford one. I was never even asked by the judge if I represented myself. Tell me what I should have done to get my right to an attorney and thus a fair trial.
You had to ask for a lawyer to be appointed. The judge would then have checked to see if you qualified due to lack of assets and lack of income and, if so, would have appointed a lawyer for you. However, the burden is on you to ask.
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