If you have previously been convicted of a crime, one thing you may be interested in is filing an appeal. A criminal appeal helps you seek additional relief from the justice system. You may even ask it to overturn the sentence or to reduce it significantly.
In reality, there are several post-conviction remedies that can be made available to people who have been convicted of crimes, and appeals are a good way to seek them.
Can anyone seek an appeal?
On the whole, you usually can seek an appeal if you believe that aspects of the case were mishandled or had legal errors. It's not the same as asking for a retrial. Instead, you're asking the higher court to review the case and decide if the conviction was reached mistakenly. Through an appeal, no additional evidence is introduced.
What happens when a court is considering an appeal?
When a court is reviewing a case, it looks at the previous records and won't take on any new evidence. Looking at the previous court record, the new judge will consider everything that was said in court including transcripts from the judge, witnesses, attorneys and others. Items that are part of the record, such as objects or documents, are also included in the appeal.
The appellate court, referred to as the higher court, reviews the record and the briefs that each side files with the appeal. You may include a document, for example, that states that you disagree with the results of the case because a jury was biased or because of legal mistakes during sentencing.
How long will it take for a criminal appeal to be heard in court?
A criminal appeal may take several months to be heard, and you will need to notify the court right away if you have the intention to appeal. Every state handles appeals differently, and depending on the number of appeals currently being reviewed, it may take quite a while for yours to be heard.
In the end, everyone deserves to have a fair trial without obvious legal errors. If you or your attorney believe that there was a major legal mistake that took place during the trial, then seeking an appeal is a good decision. While it may take time to have the appeal heard, that appeal may be the very thing that reduces your sentence or overturns the conviction you received.