Although you were handed a guilty conviction by judge or jury, you do not have to accept it just yet. The U.S. Constitution gives American citizens the right to appeal their criminal conviction by requesting a new trial. Continue reading to learn more about the process of criminal appeals, and who to trust for advice regarding your recent conviction. Most often, a defendant would use their current criminal defense attorney to represent their appeal. For your appeal, choose a specialized attorney who is expert-certified by the state’s bar organization to practice criminal defense, and who also has experience with appellate law.
Retaining appellate criminal defense is the first step to your appeals process. Continue below to learn more.
Motion to Withdraw a Plea
It is important to understand that you cannot appeal your conviction if your plead guilty, or entered a plea of no contest (nolo contendere). If you plead one of the two, you must first enter a motion to withdraw your plea, which is an entirely separate process than appeals. Under these particular circumstances, some states permit defendants to a limited indirect appeal without filing for a motion to withdraw. This is known as filing a “writ of habeas corpus.”
Because the appeals process varies greatly from state to state, the option to go this route is dependent on various factors unique to a defendant’s case and criminal charges. It is best to consult with your trusted criminal defense attorney for professional recommendations distinctive to your case.
2 Step Appeals Process
An appeal is an official legal document that states the lower court’s ruling as incorrect. They must be filed within 30 days of your conviction, so it is important to act fast if you want to move forward with turning over your conviction. There are two primary steps to filing an appeal once you’ve retained professional legal representation. The first step is to file a notice of appeal and send it to the court that sentenced you. This is a one to two page formal document that notifies the court that you are challenging their ruling against you, and that you are taking your appeal to the next highest court for re-adjudication.
Once you have sent your notice to the court, the second step is to file your appeal with the appellate court, which is the next highest court that has jurisdiction over your case. Along with filing your appeal, you must also file an “appellate brief.” An appellate brief is a document that contains a legal discussion explaining why the lower court’s ruling was incorrect. Most often, filing an appeal is not free. Not only do you have to pay for legal representation, but you must also pay to obtain a transcript record of your first case, as well as, court fees, filing fees, and more.
To get started on your appeal, contact a trusted and licensed criminal defense lawyer in your city. They have the knowledge, resources, and skill to advise you on the best course of action for your conviction. Just be sure to act fast since appeals must be filed within 30 days.
Were you convicted of misdemeanor or felony crimes in Indianapolis, Indiana? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to file an appeal or expunge your criminal record. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your charges and the best strategies for defense!
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