The appeals process provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity to contest the outcome of their cases. If you feel you received an unfair outcome in your case, we strongly recommend speaking with a Temecula appeals lawyer as soon as possible.

At the Law Offices of Scott Henry, our accomplished defense attorneys could thoroughly review the trial record and identify any issues that could serve as a basis for an appeal. We could then create a compelling argument to present to the appellate judges and advocate aggressively on your behalf to get you a fair and just legal outcome.

Common Grounds for an Appeal

Under California Penal Code 1237 PC, a defendant has the right to file a notice of appeal. This notice is filed when the defendant believes legal errors occurred during his or her trial, which resulted in a wrongful conviction or an unwarranted, harsh sentence. An appeal is not a new case; therefore, no new evidence can be presented by either side.

Appellate courts use guidelines known as “Standards of Review” to determine if a defendant received an unfair trial due to legal errors. Grounds for an appeal may include:

  • Insufficient evidence
  • Juror misconduct
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Judicial errors

An attorney in Temecula could determine if one of these reasons for an appeal applies to a particular case.

What are the “Standards of Review?”

When an appellate court reviews a case, the judges uses specific guidelines to make their determination. These guidelines are referred to as “Standards of Review.” When an attorney argues that mistakes or legal errors were made, the appellate court look at the standard of review pertaining to the case’s specifics. If the appellate court determines that a legal error was made, they grant the defendant an appeal. When an appeal is granted, the court can either reverse the original court’s decision or send the case back to court for a new trial. If the appellate court finds no errors or mistakes were made, they affirm the original court’s decision, and the verdict will stand.

Steps to the Appeals Process

Most appeals take about a year from when the notice of appeal is filed to the Appellate Court’s decision is handed down. The usual steps in the appeals process are as follows:

  1. The notice of appeal is filed within 60 days of the trial court’s verdict.
  2. The trial court clerk prepares the transcripts of the case and provides them to the appellant, respondent, and appellate court.
  3. The appellant’s opening brief is perhaps the most crucial step in the process. During this period, the appellate attorney in Temecula reviews the record and creates a persuasive written argument detailing and supporting the grounds for appeal.
  4. The next step is the respondent’s brief, which typically takes place a few months after the opening brief. This is the prosecution’s argument against the defendant’s petition for an appeal.
  5. Oral arguments occur after the briefing period. Both sides argue their positions in front of the appellate court.
  6. The court’s decision is the final step of the process. The three appellate judges review the case and consider the standards of review for the type of decision at hand. Their decision comes in written form within 90 days of the oral arguments.

Consult with our Knowledgeable Temecula Appeals Attorneys

If you feel you were either wrongfully convicted or received an inappropriately harsh sentence, know that you do not have to accept it. Consult with a knowledgeable Temecula appeals lawyer at the Law Offices of Scott Henry right away to see if this process is an appropriate course of action. During your free consultation, one of our seasoned appellate attorneys could discuss the issue at hand and determine what avenues to pursue to help get you the result you need.

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