When you are found guilty of a criminal offense and sentenced, you probably have your eyes on appealing the judgment. But, what are your chances of a successful appeal? It all boils down to the facts of your case and if the trial court followed the law in administering justice.
Here is what you need to know about criminal appeals.
When can you appeal?
The grounds of appeal vary. You can appeal a sentence if it is illegal, unreasonably excessive or unconstitutional. You can appeal your conviction if the verdict went against the facts, if there were errors of law in your trial or if there was some kind of misconduct on the part of the jury, the prosecution or the judge.
Every case is different, and the strength of your appeal will determine everything. Remember, an appeal is not a retrial of your case. There is no jury, and the court may not consider new evidence. Your success lies in showing that there was a miscarriage of justice in your trial.
Preparing your appeal
The appeals process can get legally complex, and you need to be well prepared. Proving legal errors is not so straightforward because some of them may not even meet the threshold to change the original outcome of your trial.
Your defense will need to scrutinize all the aspects of your trial in preparation. The trial court’s records of proceedings, including the jury, evidence, court ruling and the final judgments are all critical to your appeal.
The possible outcomes
If your appeal goes through, the appellate court will either send your case back to the trial court for a retrial or resentencing, or it may overturn the initial decision. It all depends on the result of your appeal.
The stakes are so high when appealing a sentence. Its outcome could greatly affect your future or even your freedom, and you cannot take any chances. Make sure that you have an experienced defense on your side.