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What Should I Do After a Wrongful Conviction?

When your case goes to court, you expect that justice will prevail and that the court will come to the correct decision. However, the court does not always come to the right outcome, and in criminal trials this will lead to a wrongful conviction. Many people wrongfully convicted believe that they are out of options, but that is not true. It is possible to appeal a wrongful conviction with an experienced appellate attorney. For more information about what to do after a wrongful conviction, call the office or contact us today at The Appellate Law Firm to schedule a free evaluation of your case. 

Step One: File a Notice of Appeal

The first step also has the shortest time frame, which is why it is critical to speak with an appellate attorney as soon as possible after a wrongful conviction. Once a final verdict has been rendered in the case, the defendant has 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal with the court. The Notice of Appeal must include the arguments for how the trial court erred in substantive law or procedure that led to the wrongful conviction in your case.

Step Two: Gather the Evidence

The next step after a wrongful criminal conviction is the gathering of evidence for the appeal. This includes ordering the transcript of the trial, collecting the evidence submitted during the trial, and any other evidence that can be used to show how the trial court erred in your case.

Step Three: Submit the Written Brief

The third step in an appeal for a wrongful conviction is the submission of the written brief and the reply. The appellate attorney drafts a written brief that is submitted to the appellate court detailing how the trial court made mistakes that ultimately led to the incorrect outcome in your case. The attorney for the prosecution also drafts a written brief, and each side is given the opportunity to respond to the other’s arguments.

Step Four: Oral Arguments

The fourth step is oral arguments. These take place in front of a panel of appellate judges and they are not another trial. Each side is given an opportunity to argue why the conviction should be upheld or overturned and answer questions posed by the appellate justices. No new evidence or witnesses are allowed during oral arguments, and they revolve specifically around what mistakes occurred at the trial phase. 

Step Five: Appellate Review 

The last step in appealing a wrongful conviction is the appellate review. After oral arguments, the appellate judges will take weeks or sometimes even months to review the written brief, oral arguments, and the law before rendering an opinion on the case. They can either uphold the conviction, reverse the ruling, or remand the case back to trial court with specific instructions.

Talk to Our Office Now

If you would like to learn more about what to do after a wrongful criminal conviction, call or contact The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free evaluation of your case.