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What’s the point of an appeal?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2020 | criminal defense

If your criminal case did not end as you’d hoped, you may feel hopeless and overwhelmed. A conviction will change the course of your life, and it could even lead to time behind bars. In some cases, this may not be the end of the road for you. It is possible you have grounds to appeal, which could result in a different outcome to your case.

The appeals process can be lengthy and confusing, which is why it’s critical to work with an experienced defense attorney. An appeal allows you to ask a higher court to reconsider your case and possibly reverse the original verdict. You may have this option if you believe your original conviction or the sentence you received was an error. You cannot present new evidence in an appeal, but you can work to prove how there were errors in the original procedure.

What happens during an appeal?

During your appeal, you will have the opportunity to prove that key mistakes were made during your original trial. These mistakes ultimately affected the jury’s decision or the sentence given to you. Depending on the nature and severity of the case, you could have the case against you dismissed. You could also get resentenced or retried. When making a decision regarding the appeal, the court will consider briefs filed by both sides and the entire record from the previous trial.

When does it happen?

The appeals process should start as soon as possible after a conviction. This does not necessarily mean the court or a judge will hear your case very soon. In fact, this process can take months. However, it is important to file the paperwork and start moving forward with this step as soon as possible. Before you do this, however, you will find it helpful to learn more about how Pennsylvania courts handle appeals.

Experienced guidance matters

It is in your interests to work with an experienced defense attorney at every step of the criminal justice process. From your initial trial to filing an appeal, you will benefit from the advocacy and support of someone who understands the system and will fight for your rights and interests. Whether you are recently charged or you are interested in an appeal, it will be helpful to first seek an evaluation of your case.