San Diego Criminal Appeals Attorney
Why file a criminal appeal?
Losing a criminal defense case is one of the most devastating experiences a person can face. However, you don’t have to simply accept a finding of guilt by the jury. After the trial, you have options for overturning the conviction – you can fight it with an appeal.
A criminal appeal is a request made to a higher court to review the decision made by a lower court. This typically happens when the defendant or his lawyer believes that a mistake impacted the results of the trial. Since mistakes can be made by attorneys, jurors, and judges, a court’s ruling isn’t necessarily final. Issues frequently brought before an appeals court for review include: an incorrect ruling on admissibility of evidence, inaccurate application of the law, improper jury selection or instruction, and insufficient evidence to support the verdict.
The appellate process can be extremely complicated and time-consuming. If you’ve been convicted of a crime and wish to appeal, the most important thing you can do is to contact an experienced attorney. A San Diego criminal appeals attorney will review your first court case to discover if an event occurred that would make your conviction unjust. They typically look for procedural or legal errors that could render a jury verdict void. Appeals are generally very research-intensive, requiring a different set of skills from standard litigation. Some of the mistakes that may be evaluated in appellate court include:
- Inadmissible evidence that was used against the defendant
- Crucial evidence that was wrongfully withheld from the trial
- The wrong law was applied to the defendant’s case
- A lawyer made an inappropriate argument during the trial
- Jurors were confused by the instructions they received
- The sentence was inappropriate for the crime
In considering the appeal, the appellate court looks strictly at the record of the proceedings in the lower court, and doesn’t consider any new evidence. This record consists of the court reporter’s transcripts of everything said in court. Anything admitted into evidence, such as documents or objects, also becomes part of this record.
Pursuing a criminal appeal allows a convicted individual to seek justice, even after serious mistakes occurred at trial. If an error has in fact been made, the appellate court might overturn or overrule the lower court’s decision – in which case the defendant might have their sentence reduced, or a new trial could be initiated.
When is the deadline for filing an appeal?
In the state of California, you’re allowed 60 days from the conviction date to file an appeal. This process is initiated by filing a notice of appeal in the court where the conviction took place. Then, a copy of all criminal trial papers and testimony is filed with the appropriate court of appeals. To file an appeal, speak with a San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible – before it’s too late!
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The California appeals process is complicated and highly specialized. You need legal representation with appellate expertise – an attorney who understands that the criminal appeals process involves extensive research, and that these cases frequently take a year or more. Appellate representation requires a different mindset from standard litigation. It involves substantial research of existing cases and precedents, to identify grounds for appeal that convince the appellate court to reverse or remand the case.
We’re prepared to handle everything for you, including:
- Filing the notice of appeal in the court where your conviction took place
- Ensuring that the transcripts are filed by the court clerk and reporter
- Preparing the opening brief – a justification of the appeal
- Filing a reply brief in response to arguments from the prosecutor
- Arguing your case before three judges in the Court of Appeals
If your appeal fails in the California Court of Appeals, you have the option of appealing to the California Supreme Court. However, since these cases are rarely accepted (about 125 per year), you need an appellate attorney capable of handling your case correctly the first time. We write effective briefs that judges can easily follow, providing a clear, compelling overview of the case.
You need a San Diego appellate attorney
If you were convicted of a crime you didn’t commit, or if you are the victim of a miscarriage of justice, you need to know that you have options. When you contact the Law Office of Gregory Garrison for assistance with your appeal, your case will be handled effectively by a respected attorney with decades of experience. The initial consultation is free, and we’re ready to put over 27 years of experience to work for you as soon as you give us a call.