What You Should Know About Appealing a Conviction
Being convicted of a criminal offense has the potential to significantly change your life. Many people report that being convicted of a criminal offense results in substantial obstacles in their professional and personal lives. If you are convicted of a criminal offense, you can face prison time as well as substantial fines. Given the numerous challenges that can arise from criminal convictions, it is important to remember that you have a constitutional right to appeal. While appealing a conviction is a complicated process, the following will review several of the steps that you can take to make sure that your federal or state appeal is successful.
Finding a Skilled Appeal Attorney
Selecting an experienced criminal appeal attorney can be particularly challenging. It is critical to obtain the assistance of a lawyer who has substantial experience in helping to pursue criminal appeals. This is because the appeals process is a distinct part of criminal law and involves a unique set of obstacles. Successfully appealing a conviction requires a skilled and experienced attorney.
Filing a Notice of Appeal
After deciding on an attorney, the appeal period commences. The first step of this process is often a filing a Notice of Appeal with the trial court. These notices often must be filed within a narrow window of time following a sentence.
Reviewing the Record on Appeal
After filing a notice of appeal, the clerk of the trial court will prepare the Record on Appeal, which contains transcripts from both the clerk and reporter. Once your attorney receives these transcripts, he or she will begin to review these documents to determine whether any legal errors were made during your trial.
Filing an Opening Brief
An opening brief summarizes what occurred in your case and describes legal arguments in support of your appeal. Some of the most common types of errors include there not being enough evidence to support a jury’s decision, legal errors that require a reversal, juror misconduct, and failure by your trial lawyer to object to evidence or other legal errors that occurred during the trial.
During the oral argument phase of the appeal process, the opposing appeal lawyers will argue before the court of appeals. These oral arguments do not involve rehashing the evidence of the case, but instead, involve arguments about whether legal errors occurred in your trial.
After listening to oral arguments, the court of appeals will issue a written decision that will either affirm or reverse your conviction. If your conviction is affirmed, it will remain and your appeal attorney can help you determine if you have any subsequent options. If your conviction is reversed, the trial court will be notified and in many cases, you can expect to have a new trial.
Speak with an Experienced Appeals Lawyer Today
If you have been convicted of a criminal offense and are interested in pursuing an appeal, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled appeal lawyer. Contact the Federal Criminal Law Center today to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney who will make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.