If you received a result from your criminal case that you dislike, an appeal may be your next option. An appeal is a formal request for a higher court to review the lower court’s decision. When you file an appeal, the appeals court will review the record made during trial court.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that new facts or evidence can be added during an appeal but that is not the case – nothing new can be added to the record. An appeal is not a trial and is nothing like the courtroom battles you see on TV or Netflix. In fact, an appeal is significantly less exciting.
Once judgement has entered in a criminal case, the parties have 30 days to determine if they’re going to appeal the judge’s decision. If you feel an incorrect decision was made during the trial, it’s a good time to file an appeal. It won’t guarantee you anything, however, except the chance for the case to be examined again in a different setting.
Appeals are usually handled by a lawyer who is experienced in writing and conducting research. When an appeal is filed, the appeals lawyer will present the facts and law to the appeals court in a short document that is similar to a book.
At this point, the appeals court decides if the previous decision stands or if a reversal of the court’s decision will take place based on the written briefs the appeals lawyer put together.
If you are the person being represented in an appeal, you are the appellant. During your time as an appellant, your appeals lawyer will tell the appeals court why the trial court was wrong and why the decision should be reversed. If you are an appellee, the person who is defending court’s decision, the lawyer will explain why the trial court ruled correctly.
What to Look for in an Appeals Attorney
Depending on your attorney’s level of experience with appeals, you may have the option of being represented by your criminal law attorney. If not, then you should look for a lawyer who specializes in appeals.
When meeting with an appeals lawyer, look for the following:
- An experienced appeals lawyer will want to know if the judgment has been finalized, signed, and is an appealable one.
- Appeals lawyers should look at the record of the case, which includes the transcripts of the hearings and the documents that were presented during court sessions. Each of these items will help determine if the trial judge made a mistake in their ruling.
- The appeals lawyer has the task of explaining to the appeals court why the court ruled incorrectly and he has to do this based on everything that was submitted during trial. If your appeals lawyer asks you for new evidence or a new “smoking gun” you should find someone else immediately.
If you’re stuck with a court ruling for your criminal case that you’re unhappy with, speak with Cory Goldensoph P.C. Cory is a native Iowan who takes pride in providing the best representation that he possibly can. Speak to him about your case today to see if it’s eligible for an appeal.