A criminal appeal is not a do-over for a court case. The appeals process exists to right mistakes that occur at the trial level. The review process provides a fresh set of eyes that work to ensure your rights were not violated by the police, the prosecutor, or even the trial judge.
Due to this purpose, not every case will have valid grounds for an appeal. Even fewer cases will see the appellate court overturn a trial result. Altogether, the appellate process will more likely than not uphold the decision of the lower court.
That does not mean an appeal is not worth it. Many criminal appeals considered by onlookers to be longshots have succeeded over the years. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could review your case and advise you if an appeal might benefit you. If successful, a Brush appeals lawyer could see your case dismissed entirely. Reach out to the Colorado Lawyer team to discuss your options.
The Basis for a Criminal Appeal
The potential grounds for an appeal in a criminal case are too numerous to list. Any mistake that results in an unfair result could potentially lead to a successful appeal. A Brush appeals attorney could advise anyone considering an appeal of the grounds that might exist in their case.
The introduction of inadmissible evidence is one of the most common grounds for appeal. This could involve allowing a witness to testify to something they were not supposed to. It could also include the admission of photos or video that are too prejudicial to put in front of a jury.
When the trial judge misapplies the law, it could also lead to an appeal. This is more common in cases where upper courts have yet to weigh on a legal issue, but it could occur in any case.
In some cases, a defendant’s trial counsel is so unprepared or ineffective that their poor performance violates the defendant’s constitutional rights. The Sixth Amendment requires a defendant to have adequate representation, and inadequate counsel violates that right.
Finally, bias could also play a role in an appeal. These grounds are less common, as most conflicts of interest are dealt with at the trial level. That said, it could be possible to appeal based on the alleged bias of a juror or judge.
The Appeals Process
A Brush lawyer cannot file an appeal immediately after the verdict is read in court. Every criminal conviction will result in the entry of a formal, written judgment into the court record. Once the judgment has been entered, a defendant must file their notice of appeal with 35 days.
The defendant must file the notice appeal in the county where the judgment was entered. In addition to the notice, they must also designate some or all of the trial record to be used in the appeal and pay a fee.
After the filing of the notice, a defendant has 21 days to file their appellate brief. The district attorney will then have 21 days to respond. In some cases, the court will allow a defendant to file a reply 14 days after the response. These briefs contain the facts at trial and the legal arguments on which the appeal is based. While the court will, at times, request oral arguments, they typically make their ruling based on the briefs and attached documentation.
Discuss Your Options with a Brush Appeals Attorney
Arguing an appeal is unlike any other area of criminal law. The special rules required in appellate work make experience in this area of law highly valuable.
An experienced appellate attorney could have the know-how to comb the records from a trial and pull out the winning arguments. To learn how a dedicated Brush appeals lawyer might be right for you, call right away and schedule a consultation.