A criminal trial ending with a verdict against the defendant does not necessarily mean that defendant has no hope of securing a positive final resolution to their case. If you believe you were convicted of a criminal offense based on procedural errors, unfair bias, legally inadmissible evidence, or anything else constituting a violation of your right to a fair trial, you may be able to formally contest the court’s decision through a criminal appeal.
Pursuing an appeal effectively almost always requires assistance from a defense attorney with experience and expertise handling appellate cases specifically. With a dedicated Manhattan appeals lawyer on your side, you could have much better odds of proactively protecting your rights and ensuring that your case has a fair conclusion.
Potential Grounds for a Criminal Appeal
Appealing a criminal case is not the same thing as fighting criminal charges. Defendants cannot appeal a conviction in criminal court simply because they do not agree with the verdict handed down by the jury and/or judge. Instead, the appellate process is meant for cases where a legal, procedural, or ethical mistake had a material impact on a case’s outcome—in other words, situations where a particular case would not have ended the way it did but for an error by the prosecution or the judicial system.
Possible justifications for appeals in Manhattan can vary substantially based on the unique circumstances of a particular case. Some common grounds for appeals include:
- Incorrect interpretation of state law
- Failure to admit qualifying evidence or reject inadmissible evidence during an evidentiary hearing
- Incorrect instructions provided to the jury
- Mistakes in a ruling on pretrial motions for suppression or dismissal
- Prejudice by a judge, prosecutor, or court official against the defendant
- Failure to appropriately apply sentencing guidelines based on the specific charge and the defendant’s criminal history
A Manhattan appeals attorney could discuss whether a particular defendant’s situation might warrant an appeal during an initial consultation.
The Basics of the Appellate Process
The first step towards appealing an unfair criminal verdict or sentence is formally filing a notice of appeal with the trial court, ideally immediately after the original verdict or sentence is passed down. At this point, the case would be transferred to the jurisdiction of an appellate court. The appellate court will consider the arguments presented by the appellant and their appeals lawyer in Manhattan against a “record of appeal” based on what happened during the original criminal trial.
During the ensuing “direct appeals” stage of proceedings, the appellant and their attorney can present their case through an “Appellant’s Brief” and through verbal statements, although they generally cannot introduce new evidence that was not brought up during the initial trial. If this stage of the process does not end with a positive ruling from the appellate court, the appellant may have the option of advancing their appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court and then, in extreme cases, to the United States Supreme Court.
A Manhattan Appeals Attorney Could Help
The information above is by no means exhaustive with respect to the various complexities and procedural obstacles that can sidetrack this kind of case. Retaining experienced legal counsel is a virtual necessity to achieving success with a criminal appeal.
The help you may need is available from a dedicated Manhattan appeals lawyer who has helped people like you through similar situations before. Learn more by calling our office today.