Being sentenced for a criminal offense will change your life in ways you may not even imagine. And while these decisions can be detrimental to your future, it is not always “the end” for you. In most cases, when a verdict is made the criminal case is closed. However, there are times when you are convicted (depending on a few factors) that a conviction can be appealed.
If there is any chance that you may feel you were wrongfully convicted, you have options. You can ask the judge that heard your trial to reverse the decision made a jury and actually enter a “not guilty” plea. If this does not work, you can argue that there was a mistrial and have the judge start the trial over entirely with a new trial date. In the event that this does not work, you will have to bypass that court and ask for an appeal from a higher court, if any.
What is an appeal?
An appeal is a formal request made to the higher court. What that higher court does in appeals is review all the details of the case and potentially change the verdict or final decision made by the previous court. Appeal courts although the convicted individual to challenge the preceding sentence. If the appeal is successful, the case can then begin from scratch. In some cases, the case may close entirely, especially if there is a lack of evidence to retry based on the appellate courts decision.
Just so long as a defendant is within the statutory limits, their case can be brought forth and reviewed by an appellate court.
With the right attorney, a defendant will present any errors or insufficient evidence that ultimately warrant a successful appeal and reverse of a jury’s decision. The appellate court will hear both sides, much like the original trial, and after careful deliberation (that can take weeks or even months), a decision is made. And remember, just because you request an appeal, does not mean it has to be reviewed at all.
Just as a defendant is able to appeal a decision made, the opposing counsel can also appeal any new trial order that is made. If the court decides to side with the government the conviction or sentence can be reinstated.
Appealing a court decision takes a lot of knowledge of the law, and it is not wise to appeal alone. If you or someone you know would like to appeal a conviction, speak with a skilled Decatur criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and appealing a conviction.