November 16, 2023 By Paul Wallin

How Long Do You Have to Appeal a Conviction?

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime in the state of California, you only have a limited amount of time to file an appeal. In most cases, you have 60 days from your conviction to file an appeal. However, there are certain requirements that must be met and the appeals process can be complex. It is highly recommended that anyone hoping to challenge their conviction seek the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney in California.

Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

How to Appeal

In most cases, you only have 60 days from your conviction to file an appeal. To appeal a conviction in California, you must first file a Notice of Appeal with the court where your original case was decided. You will then be required to submit a brief explaining why you believe the conviction should be set aside or reversed. The appellate court may then decide either to affirm (uphold) the original conviction or to reverse it and order a new trial.

When considering an appeal, you should take into account the fact that the standard of proof for appeals is different than in your original trial. The appeals court will only consider errors which occurred during the proceedings that may have had an effect on the outcome of your case. This means they will not consider issues related to the evidence presented at trial or issues related to the jury’s deliberations.

When appealing a conviction in California, you can also consider filing a petition for habeas corpus. Unlike an appeal, a petition for habeas corpus does not focus on errors that occurred during trial proceedings but rather questions the lawfulness of your imprisonment itself. This is particularly useful when there are questions about your legal representation or other constitutional violations during the trial.

Unlike an appeal, a petition for habeas corpus does not have a set time limit, but must be done within a reasonable amount of time from conviction. 

Reasons to Appeal

The primary focus of an appellate court is to address errors of law. Upon reviewing the appellate briefs and hearing arguments from both your attorney and the attorney general, the Court of Appeal will determine whether the trial court committed a legal mistake that warrants the reversal of your conviction.

Appeals can be grounded on various factors, which include:

  • Improper admission or exclusion of evidence during the trial.
  • Improper instructions given by the judge to the jury.
  • Errors or abuses of discretion in the judge’s sentencing.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct.
  • Misconduct by one or more jurors.
  • Incompetence displayed by your trial attorney.
  • Verdict rendered by the jury based on insufficient evidence.

While the notion of “insufficient evidence” may appear contradictory to the appellate court’s limited jurisdiction regarding factual matters, it falls within their purview. A conviction must be supported by evidence that fulfills all the legal elements of a crime. Therefore, if the facts presented during the trial fail to establish the required elements of the crime, you cannot be found guilty, indicating a legal error in your conviction.

Regardless of the basis for the appeal, the court must determine that the legal error committed in your case was not “harmless,” meaning that the error had a significant impact on the outcome of your case. For instance, if the court were to allow the admission of hearsay evidence, which is a statement made by a witness that is considered unreliable, but this evidence was only one piece among numerous other solid pieces of evidence proving your guilt, the inclusion of hearsay evidence would likely be deemed harmless since you would likely have been convicted even without it.

If you believe your case falls under one of these categories, you need to speak with a defense attorney today. Time is very limited to file an appeal. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over four decades of experience with appeals cases, and know the filing requirements and process to get a successful appeal. We offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Call our office today for a free consultation! Call our office today for a free consultation!

Appeal vs. New Trial

Before starting the appeal process, it is important to know the difference between an appeal and a new trial. An appeal in California is a legal proceeding through which a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court for any legal errors. It’s important to note that an appeal is not a new trial and does not involve re-examining the evidence or re-trying the facts of the case. Instead, it focuses on legal or procedural errors that may have affected the outcome of the original trial.

On the contrary, a new trial is a complete re-trial of the original case. This usually takes place when the appellate court finds significant errors in the original trial’s proceedings, which could have influenced the verdict. In a new trial, the case is presented afresh, allowing for the introduction of new evidence and witnesses. It’s a chance to start over, but it often requires a compelling reason and the court’s approval.

It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you navigate the complexities of the judicial system and decide what is the best route to take for your case. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich know the legal process and can help you no matter what stage your case is in. Call our office today!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you are wanting to appeal your conviction, time is limited and you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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