Most criminal charges are settled through plea deals. If this is not an option, however, your case will go to trial where you may be acquitted or convicted of the crime. But what happens if you are not satisfied with your conviction?
Well, you may exercise your right to appeal the verdict. However, it is important to understand what appeal is, and what it isn’t. For starters, an appeal is not a new trial. Rather, it is a petition to the appellate court to reopen your case with the goal of determining whether the trial court made legal errors.
Here are 2 costly mistakes you want to steer clear of when appealing a criminal conviction.
Citing the wrong grounds for appeal
It is not uncommon for the appellant to cite the wrong reference or law that the Appeals Court has already identified. This is a common mistake, especially if you are not familiar with the appellate process or when you do not have adequate representation. Your appeal will most likely be dismissed if you make the wrong reference for your appeal.
Failing to follow the right appeal procedure
While issuing the verdict, the court will always inform you of your right to appeal. It will also inform you about the timeline within which you must appeal your conviction if you choose to. Failing to file your appeal within the stipulated time frame can lead to the dismissal of your appeal.
Fighting for your rights
A conviction for a criminal offense is no laughing matter. Besides the legal consequences like fines and jail time, you will end up with a criminal record that can impact various aspects of your life. Learning how the appellate process works can help you avoid costly mistakes that can hurt your criminal appeal.