When Can You File a Criminal Appeal?

criminal defense lawyer

If you and your criminal defense lawyer don’t agree with the outcome of your trial, you might want to consider appealing your case. When you file an appeal, the court of appeals will review your criminal case to ensure the proceedings followed the law. Your appeal is based on written records of the case, including the reporter’s transcripts. If you are thinking about filing an appeal, this guide can help you:

Are you Qualified to File for a Criminal Appeal?

Any defendant, adult or juvenile, someone who lost their criminal court case can file for a criminal appeal. You must pay several fees such as filing fees and a deposit of transcripts before your appeal can be reviewed. You will file the appeal with the District Court and you or your qualified Rochester criminal defense lawyer would just need to make sure the other party is served correctly. 

Issues that can be Appealed

An appeal includes questioning any legal mistakes made during a criminal case that affected the verdict. If the court decides these errors are significant enough, your case will be granted a retrial. Should the case can’t be prosecuted further, its verdict will be reversed, leading to the dismissal of the case. It is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help strengthen your case if you are granted an appeal. 

Your lawyer can raise a lot of issues in the appeal. These include your wrongful conviction because of insufficient evidence, incorrectly filed evidence, or withheld evidence during the original trial. Also, the conduct of the presiding judge before and during the trial is another issue that can be raised during the appeal. This can include sentencing errors, a refusal to excuse a biased juror, or making a final decision based on discriminatory factors. 

Appeals that Involve Sentencing Issues

Sentencing appeals differ slightly from appeals that involve underlying convictions. The majority of sentencing appeals are challenged on a direct appeal. In some instances, a case involves a sentencing agreement by the government and the defendant. A plea bargain is a common type where a prosecutor and defendant make an arrangement for a more lenient sentence or removal of certain charges. This agreement can be reached if the defendant pleads guilty to the remaining charges in court. If the court imposes a greater sentence than what was spelled out in the agreement, the defendant can file a sentencing appeal with a knowledgeable attorney. 

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