If you are convicted for a crime, you may be able to file for an appeal if you believe the original court made an error in their verdict or sentencing. These errors can be intentional -for example, due to police misconduct at the arrest, or accidental -such as mishandling of evidence by forensic staff. Common reasons for criminal appeals in California include juror misconduct, improper evidentiary rulings by the trial judge, denial of due process and sentencing that is considered cruel or unusual for the crime in question.
The process for criminal appeals in California is complex and subject to strict deadlines, which is why you always need to work with top criminal attorneys to ensure all steps are handled properly and within the allotted time frame.
When a criminal appeal is filed in California, the case will move on to the appellate court, who will review the appellate briefs filed by both parties and listen to both side’s oral arguments. Generally speaking, evidence cannot be entered into these arguments as the court is not there to evaluate the validity of the original charges, but to determine whether or not the court made a mistake during the trial.
If the court determines that an error was made during your trial and that the error was “not harmless,” the court may reverse the conviction, reduce your sentence or order another trial in the original court. Criminal lawyers will then reargue your case in front of a new jury and, with any luck, you will have a better outcome than you had in the first trial.
If no errors are found, or if the errors are judged to be harmless, the previous court’s decision will stand. If you still feel you were subject to an improper ruling, your lawyer can help you appeal to the a higher court.
In DUI cases, if the DMV affirms your DUI suspension, you may file a specialized form of appeal called a writ. A writ asks the court to immediately overturn the DMV ruling for a temporary period while you still may be fighting the case. A DMV writ may also ask the court to stay or put off the license suspension against you while you dispute the DMV action. Some judge’s rulings are appealable by writ, but others require waiting until a conviction.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you should file a criminal appeal in California, please speak to a lawyer. Peter M. Liss can evaluate your situation to help you determine whether or not you have a reasonable case for appeal. If you have any questions, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule your free initial consultation.
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