The right to a fair trial is one of the most important rights afforded to those of us who live in the USA. When a person’s liberty is at stake, the courts must follow proper procedures. A miscarriage of justice can lead to unfair sentences, or penalizing an individual who is innocent. Fortunately, a conviction or a sentence imposed by the court is not necessarily the end of the road. If your trial was conducted with serious legal errors, you have the right to appeal a criminal conviction.
Can You Appeal a Criminal Conviction?
Appeals are dealt with by a court system that runs separately from, and parallel to, the criminal court system. The appellate courts deal only with appeals: rather than evaluating the evidence in the original case, the appellate court evaluates how the trial was conducted, and review evidence that the attorneys, judge or jury mishandled the case. Appeals cases can only take place after a final judgment. These include:
- A conviction
- A sentence or order for probation
- An addiction commitment
- An insanity commitment
- A mentally disordered offender commitment
There are of course exceptions, and every case is unique with regard to what occurred. Your attorney will help you determine if you can and should appeal.
How the Decision Can Be Overturned
During an appeal, your attorney will expose the legal violations that resulted in you having an unfair trial. From the gathering of evidence to the treatment of witnesses to the judge’s final instructions to the jury, there are many rules governing how a criminal case must proceed. Those rules exist for a reason; if even one rule is violated, it can result in an unfair trial, and unfair decision.
The “opening brief” outlines the reasons behind the appeal, and the outcome you are seeking. This might be a lighter sentence, a new trial, or a reversal of a criminal conviction. There are detailed guidelines governing the drafting of a brief, and not all law firms get involved, as it takes a deep understanding of this area of the law to be successful. It is vital that you have the support of an experienced criminal appeals attorney if you plan to appeal. After filing the brief, your attorney also presents oral arguments. Your attorney will highlight the most important aspects of the brief, and clarify these to the judge panel.
How The Law Office of Corey Evan Parker Can Help
It is not a simple task to get a decision overturned in California or Washington. However, if you were not given a fair criminal trial for any reason, it is imperative that you seek justice. It is deeply unfair for you and your family to suffer the effects of an unjust sentence or wrongful conviction.
If you suspect that you may have grounds for appeal in your criminal case, you should consult with an attorney focused on appeals. Please Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.