The main rule you should have in mind is that anyone who is convicted of a crime has the right to appeal in case of legal errors during the trial. If you plan to appeal due to some crime that you’ve committed, you will be known as appellant and not the defendant or convict.
You can check more about it with a Philadelphia criminal appeals law firm so that you can learn what we think when we’re talking about the appeal in practice. The idea is that you are appealing to the court that during the trial proceeding legal error has happened and affected the overall outcome of the trial.
Legal Errors Are Prone to Appeal
In rare cases, the appeal has the constitutional rights to challenge the decision of the jury, but it tends to dispute legal errors that the judge has committed or prosecution during the trial. If the judge made some ruling during the pre-trial motions and preliminary hearing, or it can happen during the trial, but the appellant has to provide appropriate proofs for that particular idea.
For instance, if the defender decides to make a pre-trial motion that will challenge the legality of the search of your house since there was no warrant involved, you will be able to win the appeal because you will have relevant evidence that will state the idea you wish to present.
When To Appeal
The formal appeal, in most states, will last a limited time, so you will have to conduct it and prepare it in a matter of ten days after the court’s verdict. You will have to create a notice of appeal that will include the same issue as well as the basis for it.
Have in mind that if you present something which is not relevant to the case, they can easily reject you, especially if you wait too long. As soon as you decide to appeal your case, the court will receive the entire record of the trial as well as rulings so that they can use it accordingly based on your specific situation.
The attorney will file a brief that will outline parts which are problematic and feature a legal error. The prosecution will also create a written submission to present you a perspective on why the entire court process was legitimate and appropriate.
The Next Level Of Court
Even though it happens, the attorney that decides to handle your criminal trial won’t be able to handle the appeal. Have in mind that only lawyers that have experience with appeal process should conduct an appeal, and usually, they work in higher courts than you were before the verdict.
Of course, everything depends on the state which means that processes will be different based on the area, but it usually starts with the next level of high court within the system. It doesn’t matter whether you are convicted on federal or state basis, because you will be able to do it with ease.
In case that you lose the appeal in one higher court, you will be able to appeal to a higher one instead, until you reach supreme court. In case that issues are constitutional, you can also request to the federal district court, and finally to U.S. Supreme Court.
If you have been sentenced to death, you will be able to get a direct or automatic appeal. It depends on the state where you live, but an appeal can be mandatory or the direct choice. Have in mind that direct appeals always tend to go to the highest court possible in the state.
On the other hand, for federal cases, the direct appeal will also go to the highest federal courts. The judges will have the ability to affirm sentence or conviction or reverse the sentence.
The losing side can also file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, but everything depends on various factors and possibilities. When it comes to criminal trials, only a few of them are successful, but as soon as you get the appeal grant, that will become the leading media news, which is why it is rare.
If you have the chance to overturn the sentence or conviction, the appeals will not only find the error but also determine whether the error is severe enough so that it can affect the outcome of the trial.