Winning an appeal can be life-changing. It can restore your dignity, reputation, and, most importantly, your freedom. If you feel you did not receive a fair trial, it is vital to speak with an experienced Irvine appeals lawyer immediately. Our skilled legal team at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry has over 40 years of combined appellate experience. We have a proven track record of success because of our in-depth understanding of the local appeals process. We take a diligent and thorough approach to this process and we could thoroughly research your case specifics to find details that support overturning your verdict. Scott D. Henry and his legal team of criminal defense attorneys are committed to fighting diligently on your behalf to help you obtain the outcome you deserve.

What is a Criminal Appeal?

A criminal appeal is a legal argument presented to an appellate court, such as the California Supreme Court, that suggests there were mistakes or legal errors in your criminal case that resulted in an unfair legal outcome. An appeal is not a new trial, but only a review of a previous conviction. During this process, the court reviews the lower court’s judicial rulings and proceedings to see if mistakes or legal errors were made that substantially affected your case’s outcome. The appellate court does not accept or review new evidence during this process.

If you believe there was a legal error made during your trial that resulted in a conviction or a harsher sentence, you may consider appealing the verdict under California Penal Code 1237 PC.

The Appeals Process in Irvine

The appeals process begins when a Notice of Appeal is filed within 30 days of your conviction. A few weeks after the appeal is filed, you will receive a letter from the Court of Appeal requesting you to file certain preliminary papers. During the briefing period, your appellate attorney in Irvine could review the record and create their written argument. The brief states the facts and history of your case and argues the law. Following the briefing period, both the sides present oral arguments supporting their positions. After their statements are given, the court makes their determination. It is in written form and is issued within 90 days of the oral arguments. 

Standards of Review

When reviewing a case, an appellate court uses specific guidelines to make its determination. These guidelines are referred to as “standards of review.” When your attorney argues that mistakes or legal errors were made, the court looks at the standard of review that pertains to the type of decision made in your trial. If the appellate court decides a legal error was made, you have won your appeal. The court can either reverse the original court’s decision or send the case back to the original court for a new trial. If the appellate court finds an error did not occur, they affirm the original court’s decision and the verdict will stand.

Grounds for an Appealing a Verdict

An appellate court determines if legal errors affected your case’s outcome. These mistakes involve a misunderstanding or misapplication of the law, and as a result, prevented you from receiving a fair trial. Common grounds for an appeal include:

  • Insufficient evidence to support a conviction
  • Prosecution misconduct, which is when the prosecutor acted unethically, intentionally misstated evidence or the law, or commented on inadmissible evidence
  • Jury misconduct, which is when a juror independently investigated or researched your case
  • Judicial errors, which occurs when the judge gave incorrect instructions to the jury
  • Ineffective assistance of defense counsel

One of our lawyers in Irvine could assess your case and determine if it may be eligible for appeal.

Winning an Appeal in Irvine

Many people believe that if they win their appeal, the case is dismissed, and the verdict will be overturned. However, the District Attorney has the right to appeal the appellate court’s decision in a higher court. If they choose not to challenge the court’s decision, your case is typically be sent back to the original trial court, where you may receive a new trial. In some situations, the prosecution may decide not to retry your case and instead may offer you a plea deal. If the D.A. feels you would most likely not have been found guilty if the error had not been made, they may choose to drop your charges completely. Our team of lawyers in Irvine are dedicated to helping you through this process and winning your appeal.

Contact a Skilled Irvine Appeals Attorney Today

You do not have to accept your criminal conviction and its penalties. If you feel you were wrongfully convicted of a crime, it is best to immediately speak with an experienced Irvine appeals lawyer. Our highly respected attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have over 40 years of combined appellate experience. Representing clients on an appeal requires a unique and advanced skill set. When appealing your verdict, it is crucial to obtain capable and skilled legal counsel that can effectively help you fight for the result you need. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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