In any criminal case, an appeal is extremely important – it gives you a chance to change the result of the trial or sentence. An appeal asks a higher court to examine trial proceedings to ensure no legal errors were made that either affected the outcome of the trial or the sentence imposed by the judge.
If you have been convicted of a crime, an appeal may be able to help you. A skilled appellate attorney can take your case to an appellate court, show the legal errors that occurred during your court process, and ask that your conviction be overturned or that your sentence may be amended.
The skilled criminal defense attorney will need to take certain actions to preserve his client’s right to appeal, as in most states you have a limited time to make a decision on whether or not there were issues in your case that can be appealed. The issue at stake needs to be properly preserved in the lower court as well, or the appellate court will not hear the appeal. When an attorney fails to make objections at the lower court, even though the issue was legitimate at that time, it may no longer be an issue to be heard at an appellate court.
Appeals can apply in a plea-bargain; however today it is becoming quite common for both the courts and the district attorney’s offices to require a waiver of appeal as part of a plea bargain. After a defendant has accepted a plea bargain, he is left with very few issues to appeal, and if a waiver of appeal is part of his plea bargain, he has given up his right to appeal most issues to a higher court; nonetheless, some issues may remain. A skilled appellate attorney knows what can still be attacked.
The complexity of the appeal process stresses the importance of representation in court by an experienced, confident criminal defense attorney. Because of his in-depth knowledge of the appeal process, a skilled trial attorney will know when and how to make objections at the lower court to preserve his client’s right to appeal; will know whether or not his client has grounds for an appeal; and will, of course, know how to properly file the motions to appeal on his behalf of his client.
Only a skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to properly advise you on any appeals possible, as well as any other motions which can be made to address any other remedies available to you after a guilty verdict.