Most people charged with crimes will want to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid the potential consequences of conviction. However, there are some circumstances where you find yourself dealing with a conviction when you did not expect it. For this reason, you need to be prepared to be informed about appealing your conviction.
If something was handled incorrectly in your case and you believe that your rights were violated, filing an appeal is often the best and only option available to you.
A defendant who believes that they have been wrongfully convicted does have some avenues for recourse, all of which can be discussed directly with your criminal defense attorney. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully convicted, you could move for a new trial by asking the judge to put aside the jury’s verdict and to declare a mistrial and begin again. Another option for a defendant is to make a motion that asks the trial judge to overturn the guilty verdict and then enter a verdict of not guilty.
Finally, a defendant who believes they have been wrongfully convicted could ask a higher court to reverse a conviction. An appeal is a formal request to the appellate court to change the decision of a lower court upon review. You can challenge the conviction itself or the sentence.
Challenging the sentence does not mean you have to attack the underlying conviction. If you are successful with your appeal, this will bring the case back to its initial stages but in certain situations, it might terminate the case altogether. If your intermediate appellate court following your conviction upholds that conviction, you may still consider moving your case forward to the state’s highest court and then to the Supreme Court. Discretionary jurisdiction applies to higher appellate courts which means they can opt not to review a case at all. Consulting directly with your criminal defense attorney and figuring out your best option is important.
Have questions about whether or not your case meets the grounds for appeal? If so, schedule a time to talk with experienced attorney John Tumelty at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty as soon as possible at 609-345-3300 or via our online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.