Franklin Appeals Attorney
In a criminal case, it’s important for the courts to get things right. After all, if you are deemed guilty for a crime, the repercussions could follow you for many years and even the rest of your life. This is especially true for felony cases.
Even in civil cases, if the judge finds you to be the liable party, you may be ordered to pay a lot of money. The good news is that if you feel the court made an error, you may be able to file an appeal.
In an appeal, the defendant files an appeal to a higher court called an appellate court. It asks the court to review the lower court’s decision in the case and look for legal errors that may have affected the outcome. If the appellate court grants the appeal, it may partially or fully reverse the lower court’s decision. If the appeal is denied, the decision made by the lower court stands.
Not that it would make sense, but the court cannot appeal a “not guilty” verdict, as this would constitute double jeopardy. Double jeopardy is when a person is prosecuted twice for the same crime, which is not allowed.
Reasons for an Appeal
A person generally cannot file an appeal simply because they disagree with the outcome of a case. There are several main reasons for an appeal:
- Legal error. A legal error can happen in several ways, such as improperly admitted evidence, lack of sufficient evidence, or incorrect jury instructions.
- Juror misconduct. A person can appeal if they believe the jury conducted themselves improperly. This may include improper communication or substance abuse during the trial or deliberations.
- Ineffective assistance of counsel. In this case, the defendant must prove that their lawyer provided them with inadequate representation and that the outcome would have been different had the lawyer acted in a different manner.
What Happens in an Appeal?
In an appeal, the case is not retried. Instead, the appellate court reviews the lower court’s proceedings to determine if an appeal is necessary. The court reviews the record, which includes all motions, evidence admitted to the court, and a transcript of the trial. The appellate courts also review written briefs submitted by both sides. In some cases, the court may also hear oral arguments from the lawyers in order to clarify any points. The appeal is decided by a panel of three judges, In most cases, appeals are not successful, with the original decision remaining.
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When a person does not agree with a court’s decision, they may be able to file an appeal if they can prove some sort of error or omission took place. The court may then review the case again and make another decision.
If you are considering an appeal of a criminal case, you need the best legal representation on your side. Contact the law firm of Beal, Nations & Crutcher for help with your appeal. To schedule a consultation, call our office at (615) 861-2304 today.