Winning an appeal can restore an individual’s dignity and result in their freedom. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have a proven track record of successful outcomes in the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. If you were convicted of a criminal offense, hiring a Tustin appeals lawyer may be your last hope of having your conviction or sentence overturned.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is not a new trial. It is merely a review of a past conviction. During an appeal, the court reviews the lower court’s proceedings and judicial rulings to see if any legal errors were made that substantially affected the rights of either party. The appellate court does not retry the case, accept or review any new evidence, or hear witness testimony.

Criminal Appeals Process in Tustin

If you went to trial and were convicted, you have the right to appeal the conviction. Your lawyer begins this process by filing a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the conviction. The individual who files the appeal is known as the “appellant” and the opposing party is referred to as the “respondent.”

A few weeks after this documentation is filed, the appellant will receive a letter from the Court of Appeal that requests specific preliminary papers to be filed. During the briefing period of the appeals process, a Tustin attorney goes through the record and begins to craft their written argument. This is most crucial part of the process as a brief tells the facts and procedural history of the case and argues the law. The initial briefing is due 40 days after the record is filed.

Following the briefing, both sides present an oral argument that supports their position. It is then time for the decision of the court. The decision comes in written form and is issued within 90 days of the oral argument.

Grounds for Appealing a Sentence or Conviction

The appeals court determines if any errors in procedural law affected the outcome of the case. Common mistakes involve a misunderstanding or misapplication of the law that prevented the defendant from receiving a fair trial. Some common grounds for an appeal are:

  • Misconduct by the prosecution (the prosecutor acted in an unethical manner, intentionally misstated evidence or the law, or commented on inadmissible evidence)
  • Insufficient evidence to support a conviction
  • Judicial errors (the judge gave incorrect instructions to the jury)
  • Misconduct by the jury
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel (the defense lawyer did not provide his or her client with effective legal representation)

If the court finds that an error did occur during the trial, they can either reverse the court’s decision or send the case back for a new trial. If they find that no error occurred, they will affirm the court’s original decision. A lawyer in Tustin could assess your case’s verdict and determine if there are grounds to file an appeal.

Speak with a Tustin Appeals Attorney

It can be devastating to receive a negative outcome in your criminal case. Still, if you believe there were errors made that contributed to the guilty verdict, you can use your legal right to appeal the conviction. If you decide to pursue this right, it is crucial to obtain the representation of a Tustin appeals lawyer who has the necessary legal and appellate experience. Our team of criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry has extensive knowledge and decades of experience in handling appeals in the area. We are dedicated to guiding our clients through this process and could fight tirelessly to help you receive your desired outcome. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.

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