It’s hard to imagine anything more devastating than being convicted for a crime you did not commit. For those unfamiliar with the judicial system, this might seem impossible.
Nonetheless, wrongful convictions do occur, and they always have done. Fortunately, you can appeal a conviction, but there are only certain grounds on which you can do so. Outlined below are some of the more common routes of criminal appeal.
Lawyers have a fiduciary duty. This means that they have a legal obligation to act in your best interests and to the best of their ability. Mistakes can happen, but if a mistake during your trial amounted to negligence or conduct well below the industry standards, you may be able to file an appeal based on ineffective counsel.
The admission of tainted evidence
During your arrest, law enforcement may have acted unprofessionally and even illegally. For instance, did they search your home without your permission or your presence? For evidence to be admissible, it must have been obtained through the appropriate channels. If, after your trial, it turns out that there were irregularities in how evidence was procured, you may have a valid route of appeal.
Inappropriate jury conduct
Juries in criminal cases are expected to adhere to strict rules. For instance, they must not discuss the case details outside of the proceedings. If it turns out that after your trial a jury member had breached these duties, you might be able to lodge an appeal based on jury misconduct.
Criminal appeals are notoriously tricky, but with the right guidance on your side, you have a shot at success. If you or a family member have been wrongfully convicted, don’t give up, there are still a number of legal options open to you.