Your Criminal Defense Attorney Will Guide You Through The Appeals Process

After you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to appeal your case. This process is put in place to make sure that your conviction was fair and is a right that is afforded to you under the right to a fair and speedy trial. During the appeal process, a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court. In the United States, an appeal can only end up being in your favor. The worst that can happen is that the appeal is denied. Therefore, you should speak to your criminal defense attorney about the process of appealing your case.

The Requirements for Appealing a Conviction

Typically, to be able to appeal a case, you will need to have pled not guilty. Also, if you were found not guilty, a prosecutor cannot appeal the decision because that would be considered double jeopardy. In most jurisdictions, if you plead guilty, such as if you enter a plea deal, you will usually not be able to appeal your conviction. 

To have your case appealed, the court must have made a mistake. A mistake can include juror misconduct, a legal error, or one of several other mistakes. For the error to matter, it must also affect the outcome of the case.

How to Appeal Your Criminal Case

Your attorney will instruct you on the next steps you should take to appeal your conviction. You will first need to appeal the conviction at the intermediate state appellate court. If rejected, you can try to appeal your case to a higher court. However, your case will be reviewed at the discretion of the higher court and is usually only done under special circumstances.

How Evidence Factors Into Your Appeal

The appeal process is not a second trial. Your likelihood of the appeal being successful depends on the record of the proceedings. However, if you hired a strong criminal defense attorney who attempted to present evidence on your behalf, this might ultimately affect the outcome of your appeal.

If evidence was not admitted to the court when it should have been and when it would have had an impact on your case, the intermediate-level court might overturn the conviction.

The Appellate Brief

Your attorney will also help you with your appellate brief. This document is read by the appellate court and will include the issues that you are raising and the argument that supports your position.

Contact a criminal defense attorney for more information.