A criminal appeal is a way to fight a conviction or sentence arising from a legal error at trial. You can ask that the appellate court grant you a new trial, acquittal, or new sentence (depding on your circumstances).
To appeal your judgment or verdict, you must:
- File a motion: After the judgment is entered, you can submit a notice for direct appeal and request a copy of the court record.
- Write a brief: The brief is a written account of your arguments and the reasons for seeking an appeal. Because this document is primarily what the appellate justices refer to when deciding whether remedy is warranted, it must be well thought out and compelling. Depending on the situation, it might also need to contain numerous exhibits.
- Present oral arguments: Generally, oral arguments in an appeal do not happen. As noted above, the justices review the court record and brief to determine the outcome. If oral arguments are requested, no new evidence is presented nor new witnesses called. Rather, the oral arguments serve to provide clarification on the assertions contained in the brief.
The appellate justices will issue an opinion based on the court record (a transcript of what happened at trial) and the information in the briefs you and the appellee (the party you have filed the appeal against) submitted.
Knowing that your future rests on written arguments can be intimidating, and you might feel overwhelmed when trying to navigate this process. Fortunately, you do not have to take on this complex matter on your own. An appeals attorney in Lapeer County, like Mr. Jocuns, can take care of the details for you. Mr. Jocuns has years of experience and knows how to develop carefully crafted briefs commanding the appellate court’s attention. He is ready to assist through your appeal.
What Are the Grounds for an Appeal?
You cannot appeal your conviction or sentence because you are not satisfied with the outcome of your trial. You must base your appeal on a legal error that influenced the results. In other words, if the problem did not arise in your case, a different outcome might have been possible.
Several grounds can be raised on appeal, including, but not limited to:
- Improperly admitted or excluded evidence
- Improper jury instructions
- Juror or prosecutorial misconduct
- Abuse of discretion
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
Skilled Lapeer County appellate lawyer Mr. Jocuns will fully review what happened at your trial. From there, he can determine whether a legally justifiable reason exists to challenge your conviction or sentence.
What Are the Potential Results of a Criminal Appeal?
After the appellate justices review the briefs and court record, a couple of outcomes are possible. First, the justices could affirm the decision. This means that they agree with the judgment issued at trial and the conviction or sentence remains.
The other outcome is a reversal of the trial court’s decision. This means that the justices agree that a legal error occurred, and remedy is warranted.
In this situation, the justices could:
- Order a new trial,
- Modify the sentence, or
- Send the case back to the trial court with instructions to reconsider certain facts.
Mr. Jocuns is prepared to fight toward a favorable outcome in your appeal.
Schedule a Consultation with a Lapeer County Appeals Lawyer
If you believe that a legal error affected your case, reach out to Mr. Jocuns. He is passionate about helping people and righting wrongs.
To learn about your options for challenging a conviction or sentence, contact Bernard Anthony Jocuns & Associates at (810) 255-4033.
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