Winning an appeal can restore your dignity and result in your freedom. If you feel you have been wrongfully convicted of a crime, it is essential to contact an experienced Anaheim appeals lawyer at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry immediately. Our skilled legal team has over 40 years of combined experience. Our attorneys have a proven track record of success because we take a diligent and thorough approach to this process. We could thoroughly research and analyze the specifics of your case to find details supporting your appeal. Scott D. Henry and his legal team are committed to supporting you throughout the entire process while fighting for your rights and freedom.

What is an Appeal?

A criminal appeal is a legal argument presented to an appellate court, such as the California Supreme Court, that states that mistakes or legal errors were made during the criminal process that resulted in an unfair outcome. It is important to note that this process is a review of a past conviction and does necessarily result in a new trial. During an appeal, the court reviews the lower court’s proceedings and judicial rulings to see if legal errors were made and if those mistakes substantially affected your case’s outcome. The appellate court does not accept or review new evidence or hear witness testimony.

Suppose you believe a legal error was made during your trial that resulted in a conviction or a harsher sentence. In that case, you may consider appealing the verdict under California Penal Code 1237 PC. An experienced attorney in Anaheim could review someone’s case and determine if they have a valid appeal.

What is the Appeals Process in Anaheim?

The appeals process begins when your attorney files a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of your conviction. A few weeks after your attorney files the appeal, you will receive a letter from the Court of Appeal requesting specific preliminary papers to be filed. During the briefing period, your appellate lawyer could then go through the record and create their written argument. The brief states the facts and procedural history of the case and argues the law. After the brief, both sides present an oral argument supporting their position. Following their statements, it is time for the decision by the court. The decision is in written form and is issued within 90 days of the oral arguments. 

Common Grounds for an Appeal

An appellate court determines if legal errors were made that affected your case’s outcome. Errors typically involve a misunderstanding or misapplication of the law that prevented you from receiving a fair trial. Therefore, some common grounds for an appeal include:

  • Insufficient evidence to support a conviction
  • Prosecution misconduct (For example, the prosecutor acted unethically, misstated evidence or the law intentionally, or commented on inadmissible evidence)
  • Jury misconduct
  • Judicial errors (For example, the judge gave incorrect instructions to the jury)
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel (your defense attorney did not provide you with effective legal representation)

When an appellate court reviews your case, it uses specific guidelines to make their determination. These guidelines are referred to as “standards of review.” When your attorney argues that a legal error was made, they look at the standard of review on the particular type of decision made in your trial. If the appellate court decides there was a legal error made, you have won your appeal. The court can reverse the original court’s decision or send the case back for a new trial. If they find an error did not occur, they affirm the original court’s decision.

What Happens If I Win My Appeal?

Most people mistakenly think that if they win the appeal, the case is over. However, the prosecution has the option to try to overturn the appellate court’s decision in a higher court. If they choose not to, your case may be sent back to the trial court to receive a new trial. In many situations, the District Attorney may decide not to try your case again and offer you a plea deal instead. If the DA believes you would likely not have been found guilty if the error had not been made, they may choose to drop the charges entirely. A dedicated lawyer in Anaheim could help you with this process after you have won your appeal.

Contact an Anaheim Appeals Attorney

If you were recently convicted of a crime, you do not have to accept the conviction and its penalties. In these situations, it is best to speak with an experienced Anaheim appeals lawyer right away. Our seasoned attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have over 40 years of combined appellate experience. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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