Lawyer for Post-Conviction Help
After a conviction, some people have valid reasons to have the matter reviewed and considered for changes to the sentence. Our law firm helps people who deserve their voice to be heard when they feel justice has not been served.
What Is An Appeal?
An appeal is a formal request submitted by a lawyer to affect a change to the decision by the court where the accused was tried. The appeal is submitted to a higher court which can overrule the lower court.
An appeal is not a retrial or a new trial of the case. Appeals in either civil or criminal cases are usually based on arguments that there were errors in the trial’s procedure or errors in the judge's interpretation of the law."
- American Bar Association
The Appeals Process
The party filing an appeal is referred to as the appellant or petitioner. The other party (the government) is the appellee or respondent. The appellant has a specific period of time to prepare and file documents that presents their legal arguments for a change to the existing decison(s). The government (prosecutor/court) prepares and send a response to the appellant. This is just the beginning of the process.
Appeals courts make their decisions based on written briefs and/or oral arguments. Generally, their objective is to determine if there were egregious errors in the prosecutorial or judicial process. After the arguments are presented, the appeals court judges meet to discuss the case. This will result in a judge issuing a written opinion (explanation of the decision).
If the appeals court agrees with the lower court's judgment, or dismisses the appeal, the matter is over unless the apellant appeals to yet a higher court.
For an appeal to be successful, there has to be a reasonable belief that any perceived error would have substantially altered the outcome.
If the appeals court reverses the existing decision the appeals court sends the matter back to the lower court with a directive to do one of the following:
- + conduct a new trial
- + revise or otherwise change the judgment rendered
- + reassess the prior evidence, accept and consider new evidence
After a Successful Appeal
If an appeal is successful there will still be a short period of time for the decision to become reality. It can possibly take months for a successful appeal to cause a person to be released from incarceration.