Losing in a criminal trial can be a life-changing moment. While all might feel lost, you should know that you might still have options. In some cases, a criminal appeal offers a chance to correct significant errors that were made by the trial court.
It’s important to understand that an appeal only affords the losing party a chance to address potential errors made by the trial court, in the hopes of reversing them. It is not a new trial, and a case cannot be appealed simply because the defendant is unhappy with the outcome.
The appeals process can be daunting, especially when you are facing the possibility of incarceration, fines, or both. Attorney Corey Evan Parker is well versed in the ins and outs of the Washington appeals process and is here to help you every step of the way.
The Washington Criminal Appeals Process
Not every decision in a criminal case can be appealed. Generally, only final judgments are subject to appeal. The most significant final judgment in a criminal case is a guilty verdict on some or all of the charges brought against a defendant. Appeals can be used to seek a dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict, or a reduced sentence.
A criminal appeal in Washington state court consists of four main steps:
- The Notice of Appeal—You must file a notice of appeal with the proper court and pay any required fees within 30 days of the criminal court issuing its final judgment.
- The Record on Appeal—The record on appeal is a designation of the evidence from the trial court proceedings that you want the appellate court to consider. This usually consists of the court filings from the trial and the court reporter’s transcripts of the criminal court proceedings.
- The Briefs—The brief is your chance to lay out the arguments that you want the appellate court to consider. This is where you will set forth your ground for appealing, present the facts and law that support your position, and tell the court why it should rule for you on appeal.
- The Oral Argument—Both parties will appear before the court and present brief oral arguments supporting their positions. This is also the chance for the court to ask questions of the parties, if it wishes to do so. Some time after oral argument, the court will reach its decision on the appeal.
Winning on appeal can be difficult. It’s crucial that all of the necessary steps be followed and the relevant deadlines be met. Having an appeal denied on a technicality is a devastating result.
How an Experienced Appeals Attorney Can Help
There are many hurdles to clear before you can successfully go forward with an appeal. With something as important as your freedom on the line, it’s not a matter you should try to tackle on your own.
At the Law Office of Corey Evan Parker, we are focused on appeals and have extensive experience navigating the complicated waters of the Washington criminal appeals courts. We will work closely with you to put your best arguments forward and ensure that your rights are protected. If you are considering appealing a criminal ruling, contact us today to discuss your options.