Los Angeles Criminal Appeals Attorney
Are you a victim of a miscarriage of justice?
A criminal appeal can be filed when someone is convicted of a crime and feels there was a mistake in the trial. Trial errors are unintentionally made in a number of ways by attorneys, jurors and/or judges:
- Evidence may have been used against the person but shouldn't have
- Evidence that might have helped the person was wrongly kept out of the trial
- The wrong law might have been applied
- An attorney may have made an inappropriate argument
- The jury instructions may have confused the jurors
- The sentence was not appropriate for the crime
A criminal appeal gives the convicted person a second chance to obtain justice. When an error is discovered, it could be overturned or overruled so that the court's decision is reversed. If the conviction is reversed, the convicted person may get his/her sentence reduced or get a new trial.
California Law and Criminal Appeals
Under California law, a criminal appeal can be filed by a convicted individual or his/her lawyer within 60 days of the conviction. Usually, the individual will hire an appellate lawyer to file the appeal. A Los Angeles criminal attorney from our firm has the experience necessary to file an appeal.
The entire process starts when a notice of appeal is filed in the court where a conviction or ruling occurred. After that, a copy of all the criminal trial papers and testimony are gathered and filed with the appropriate California Court of Appeals.
An Appeal Requires Expertise
The California criminal appeal process is a very specialized, complicated process that demands appellate expertise on the part of the attorney. It involves extensive research and written and oral arguments, and can often take a year or more.
The procedures are different from the trial court process and include the following steps:
- After the notice of appeal is filed, the "record on appeal," or transcripts, are prepared and filed by a court clerk and reporter.
- An "appellant's opening brief" is then prepared by the attorney, who has found the errors, researched relevant law and cases, and written a brief containing the "grounds for appeal;" the reasons why the decisions should be overruled.
- A "respondent's brief" is then filed by the prosecution, and a good appeal lawyer then files an "appellant's reply brief" in response to the prosecutor's arguments.
- Three judges in the Court of Appeal then hear the "oral arguments" on both sides.
- Months after the arguments, the court makes its decision or "opinion" on the case.
If an appeal loses in the California Court of Appeals, it may be taken to the California Supreme Court. But, these cases are rarely accepted (approximately 125 per year).
Work with an Experienced Appellate Lawyer
In the California Court of Appeal, you need the best representation possible to help you win. At the law offices of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associates, your case will be handled by Kenneth H. Lewis, a respected California appeal lawyer with more than 30 years of experience. Mr. Lewis, who focuses entirely on appeals, has successfully argued numerous cases before the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.
Contact a Los Angeles appeals attorney
from our firm quickly if you want to file an appeal. The time in which to file is a short window of opportunity.