3 Questions to Ask About Criminal Appeals

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If you’re looking into criminal appeals, you’ve probably already been convicted and have some knowledge of the court system. But the appeals process varies from a regular trial in several ways. Here are the questions you are probably asking—or ought to ask—about the criminal appeals process.

How Does the Appellate Process Work?
Contrary to what you might have seen on TV, not everyone is eligible to file an appeal if they don’t like the outcome of a trial. Appellate procedures rely instead on the petitioner demonstrating that an error was made in the previous trial, and that error led to an erroneous outcome. This means that you’re not just asking for a different judgment or trying to make a new point, but rather examining whether or not the previous trial proceeded correctly.

How Do I Find a Good Criminal Appeals Lawyer?
If you’re already working with a lawyer you trust when you’re trying to find an appeal lawyer, ask for his or her recommendation. It’s possible to use your trial lawyer for your appeal, and there’s an advantage in this strategy because he or she is already familiar with the case and has developed a rapport with you. But on the other hand, appellate attorneys have a slightly different focus than trial lawyers and may be more effective. So it’s a good idea to make sure you’re working with an experienced criminal appeals lawyer. Talk to several lawyers and ask about their histories and previous strategies.

Is an Appeal Worth the Cost?
The cost of an appeal can range anywhere upwards of $10,000, depending on the complexity of the case. This means that you shouldn’t undertake the process lightly. But if your conviction is for a serious crime and would impact the rest of your life, it may be worth it to find the right appellate advocate and attempt to prove the lower court was in error. If you’re not sure whether you should appeal or not, you can always ask a criminal law attorney to consult with you first. Continue reading here.

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