A murder trial is about as serious as it gets when it comes to legal problems. There’s a lot on the line, so it’s always smart to hire a defense attorney who is experienced with trials.
But what about hiring an appellate attorney for your trial “team,” as well? Having an appellate attorney on your side from the very start may be more costly — but the benefits can be worth the expense. Here’s why:
An appellate attorney can help protect your grounds for appeal.
Errors are made in even the biggest trials. If you’re convicted, however, you can only appeal an error when rulings are properly captured on the record and objections have been properly recorded. When rulings aren’t properly entered into the record, an appellate court may not consider them “adverse” to your case. When objections aren’t properly made, you may not be able to revisit an issue on appeal.
Appellate attorneys can advise trial attorneys on evidence issues.
Any piece of evidence has the potential to help or hurt your case — but only if it gets in front of the jury. You can expect some hard-fought battles between your defense attorney and the prosecution about what evidence gets shown or heard. However, your trial attorney may not always realize when a judge makes a decision that there are appeal rights to preserve.
Involving an appellate attorney early means you don’t have to start over.
Sure, you hope to win your case. If you’re convicted, however, do you really want to start over with a new attorney for your appeal? A murder trial can take weeks or months to conclude, which means that any attorney who steps in for an appeal will have a ton of information to sift through. Having someone with first-hand experience with your case can make your appeal move along much more quickly.
If you’re facing a murder charge, consider the possibility of having an appellate attorney on your legal team during your trial.