9 Facts You Should Know Before Appealing Your Criminal Conviction (PC 1237)
A criminal appeal may be an avenue for you to seek justice if you were convicted in criminal court. If you are considering filing an appeal, you should consult with an experienced criminal appeals lawyer. Before you file your appeal, you should know these nine facts:
An appeal is not a new trial
An appeal is not a new trial before the court. The appeals court will not retry your case or accept new evidence. The job of the appellate court is to review your conviction by the lower court to determine if mistakes were made that would warrant a reversal of your conviction.
You cannot file an appeal just because you didn’t like the result at trial
Many people wish to file an appeal simply due to the fact that they were convicted of a crime at trial. However, you must have grounds for an appeal. If a mistake was made by the court in applying the law to your case, you may have grounds for an appeal.
A mistake made by the lower court may not be enough to have your appeal granted
If the appellate court determines that a legal error was made during your criminal case, the next step is to determine whether it is a reversible error or “harmless error.” A reversible error is a mistake that no doubt affected the outcome of your case, while a harmless error is one that did not cause you harm. The court may decide to reverse your conviction if it is determined that a plain error was made in your criminal case.
You must file an appeal within 30 or 60 days
If you wish to appeal your conviction, you need to act now. You only have 30 days from the date you were sentenced to file an appeal for a misdemeanor conviction. If you were convicted of a felony, you only have 60 days to appeal your conviction.
You may be granted bail while your appeal is pending
Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be granted bail so that you could be removed from custody while your appeal is pending.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor crime, you have an automatic right to bail pending appeal. If you were convicted of a felony, your appellate lawyer may have to argue to the court that you should be allowed to post bail while your appeal is pending.
You should not lose hope if you lose your appeal
The appellate court could decide to affirm your conviction, which means that it does not believe you should be entitled to a new trial. If this happens, your appellate attorney may petition for a rehearing within 15 days of the court’s decision.
If your petition for a rehearing fails, your attorney can file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court within the 40 days of the appellate court’s ruling. If the California Supreme Court turns down your request, your criminal appeals lawyer may still be able to pursue additional appellate remedies in federal courts.
Your case is not over if you win your appeal
If you win your appeal, the appellate court will reverse the lower court’s conviction and remand the case back to the lower court. This means that the case will be sent back to the lower courts.
Winning your appeal does not mean the charges will automatically be dropped
When you win your appeal, the case goes back to the lower court. Then, it will be in the hands of the prosecutor. The prosecutor can work out a plea bargain with you, decide to take the case to trial again, or drop the charges completely.
You should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer about your case
A criminal appeal is an extremely complex process. That is why you should contact an experienced appellate lawyer immediately if you are considering appealing your conviction. A skilled appeals attorney may be able to review your case to find out if legal errors were made that impacted your ability to receive a fair trial.
At Wallin & Klarich, our appellate attorneys have been successfully representing clients in appeal matters for more than 40 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich appellate attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.