If you are indicted and charged with a crime, you have several options. If you take your case to trial, you always have the possibility of an acquittal.
But, what happens if you’re convicted? You can appeal the verdict. Appealing a criminal conviction, however, is a very different process than fighting the charges the initial time around.
An appeal is not a new trial for your case. Rather, the appellate court reviews your case versus the existing laws to determine whether the trial court made mistakes in the law.
So what mistakes should you avoid when appealing your case?
Mistakes in your appeal can be extremely costly, especially when your freedom (or even life) is on the line.
The first mistake defendants make when appealing their claim is citing the wrong basis for appeal. This can be a bit tricky, especially if you are not familiar with the appellate process. Failing to make cite the right reference for your appeal can lead to a dismissal of the appeal on that basis alone without a full evaluation of its merits.
The second appellate mistake people make is failing to follow the right procedures. For instance, while pronouncing the conviction, the judge will usually inform you about your right of appeal within a specified time frame. If the judge informs you that you may appeal your conviction within 30 calendar days, it is important that you observe this timeline. Filing your paperwork after the time limit expires will usually lead to your appeal’s dismissal.
An appeal isn’t something you want to handle on your own. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while appealing your criminal conviction.