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46.2405 Appeal by the government in criminal cases.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 46.2405]

(a) In a criminal case, the government may appeal in the following instances:

(1) from a judgment, order or other decision of acquittal, arresting a judgment of conviction, or dismissing the information, complaint or other accusation, or any count thereof, where the decision is based upon the invalidity or construction of thc statute upon which the prosecution is founded.

(2) from a judgment, order or decision suppressing or excluding evidence, or requiring the return of seized property.

(b) If the defendant has not been put in jeopardy before the decision is made, the Attorney General must certify at the time the appeal is filed that the appeal is not taken for purpose of delay and, when evidence has been suppressed, excluded or returned, that the evidence is substantial proof of a fact material in the proceeding.

(c) If the defendant has been put in jeopardy before the decision is made, there may be no further prosecution, and the appellate or reviewing court may only determine the validity or construction of the statute upon which the prosecution is founded, or the validity of the decision suppressing or excluding, or requiring the return of, evidence as a matter of law.

(d) If an appeal is taken by the government under this section, it shall file its notice of appeal, and any required certification, within 10 days after date of the decision appealed has been entered, and comply with all other requirements for appeal under subsection (c) of 46.2402.

(e) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.

History: 1977, PL 15-37.

Case Notes:

Statute authorizing the government to appeal from dismissal of criminal complaint where dismissal arose from construction of statute provided government with an adequate remedy for errors of law by district court. A.S.C.A. § 46.2405. American Samoa Government v. District Court, 10 A.S.R.2d 18 (1989).

Where statutory right of appeal from alleged errors of law by district court provided government with an adequate remedy, government's petition to High Court for writ of mandamus should be denied. A.S.C.A. § 46.2405. American Samoa Government v. District Court, 10 A.S.R.2d 18 (1989).

Where the government appeals from an order dismissing criminal charges, it must show that dismissal resulted from the misconstruction of the statute upon which prosecution was founded. A.S.C.A. § 46.2405(a)(1). American Samoa Government v. Hirata, 12 A.S.R.2d 22 (1989).

Appellate court could not assume, from the mere fact of dismissal of criminal complaints by the district court, that dismissal resulted from misconstruction of a statute rather than the insufficiency of the evidence. A.S.C.A. § 46.2405(a)(1). American Samoa Government v. Hirata, 12 A.S.R.2d 22 (1989).