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Do You Have Reason To Appeal A Criminal Conviction?

When a person is convicted of a crime and sentenced, it does not mean all hope is lost. Depending on the situation, you may be able to challenge the trial court’s decision by filing an appeal. At Jocuns Law Firm, my appellate practice is a big part of my successful advocacy.

I am Bernard Jocuns, a criminal defense lawyer with the knowledge, skill and tenacity to help clients pursue justice in the complex field of appellate law. I have prevailed in criminal appeals throughout Michigan, including cases where I replaced the original trial lawyer.

Don’t let the window close! There is a short time frame for filing an appeal of a conviction or sentencing. If you think you may have grounds for appeal, call my Lapeer law office today at 810-498-2772 to preserve your rights.

What Are The Grounds For Appeal?

You cannot appeal your conviction or sentence simply because you are not satisfied with the outcome of your trial. You must base your appeal on a legal error that overshadowed your right to a fair trial and influenced the results. In other words, if the error had not arisen in your case, a different outcome might have been possible.

Grounds for appeal in a criminal case might include:

  • Improperly admitted or excluded evidence
  • Improper jury instructions
  • Abuse of discretion
  • Sentencing errors
  • Misapplication of the law
  • Juror or prosecutorial misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

With the help of my excellent team, I will fully review what happened at your trial, including all discovery, motions and pre-trial hearings. From there, I can determine whether a legally justifiable reason exists to challenge your conviction or sentence.

Interlocutory Appeals: Real-Time Relief

I regularly pursue interlocutory appeals – interrupting the trial process to appeal a crucial matter of law that could potentially affect the outcome of the case. For example, if a judge allows prejudicial testimony into court or improperly denies a key motion, that ruling or motion can be appealed while the case is ongoing. It is easier to cure a judicial error in real time than to undo a miscarriage of justice after the fact of a conviction.

This is an area where the defense attorney must know what they’re doing. It is counterproductive to squander the time and patience of the trial court or appellate court with frivolous appeals. However, where there is a legitimate legal question to be settled, I believe it is an opportunity and in fact my duty as counsel for the accused to pursue interlocutory relief. It is built into my defense practice, and I have had notable victories in that arena.

Post-Conviction Appeals: Righting The Wrongs

Sometimes a judge or jury convicts despite a skilled and spirited defense. A good trial lawyer will have registered objections during the trial process that can serve as grounds to appeal. I have successfully appealed convictions and sentencings, included reported cases before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court.

What Are The Potential Results Of An Appeal?

After the Michigan appellate justices review the briefs and court record, they could:

  1. Affirm the trial court’s decision and let the conviction or sentence stand
  2. Agree that a legal error occurred and overturn the trial court’s decision

If a reversal merits a legal remedy, the appellate court could (a) order a new trial, (b) modify the sentence or (c) send the case back to the trial court with instructions to reconsider certain facts. More rarely, the high court could vacate the conviction, setting the accused free without further proceedings.

Schedule A Consultation To Explore Your Possible Appeal

I am passionate about helping people and righting wrongs. That enthusiasm translates to putting in the leg work and attending to the smallest details. I regularly pursue interlocutory and post-conviction appeals on behalf of my own clients. I am frequently retained by individuals whose trial counsel does not handle appeals or who want to “switch horses” to put their appeal in the most capable hands.

My firm is located in Lapeer, but I handle criminal appeals statewide and welcome attorney referrals. To discuss your potential appeal of a conviction or sentence, call Jocuns Law Firm at 810-498-2772 or reach out by email.