How Does the Appeals Process Work?
If you’re convicted of a crime, you may believe that your fate rests in the hands of the court. Yet, there may have been mistakes in your case’s handling, whether by the judge, jury, or your counsel. In these instances, you have the right to appeal your conviction and a reason for doing so.
The purpose of appeals
Appealing your conviction means that you believe that there were significant legal errors made at your original trial. An appeal does not give you a retrial. But it allows for the hearing of your conviction in a higher court. The appeals process will not begin automatically after your conviction. You will have to file a brief explaining the argument behind your appeal. The higher court will then decide whether to affirm the lower court’s ruling, return it to the lower court for modification or overturn your conviction and demand the lower court grant you a retrial.
When appeals make sense
Every person who receives a guilty verdict has the right to appeal their case. But filing an appeal doesn’t make sense in every circumstance. The basis of your conviction remains sound despite your displeasure with it. In this case, filing an appeal may not get you far. Yet, if your right to a fair trial and representation faced violation, pursuing an appeal is crucial. You will likely want to appeal your conviction if:
- The jury received inaccurate instructions
- Your trial counsel represented you ineffectively
- The court achieved its verdict based on insufficient or improper evidence
- The judge abused their discretion when making their ruling
If serious legal errors marred your trial, or if your right to due process faced violation, it’s essential that you appeal your conviction. A criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process.