Orange County Criminal Appellate Attorney
The California criminal justice system is unfortunately far from perfect. Consequently, errors can result and lead to an unfair trial or unlawful conviction. However, California offers a defendant the right to appeal their conviction in the California Court of Appeal. A successful appellate petition can mean the difference of having the entire conviction reversed or significantly reduce the sentence. Therefore, it’s important to retain an experienced and respected Orange County Criminal Appellate Lawyer when seeking post-conviction or high court relief.
What is the Difference between a Writ and Appeal?
Just because the trial judge has decided on a certain issue, it does not mean that the court is correct. If there was legal error, you are entitled to have it reviewed by a high court. The important difference between a writ and an appeal is the stage of the case. If there has been a finding of guilt and a formal sentence has been imposed, the proper vehicle for relief is an appeal. However, if the case has not been finalized, meaning there is no formal sentence imposed, then you must seek a writ. Ordinarily, writs are filed during the pretrial stages of the case where an issue ruled upon could affect the outcome of the case.
What the Appellate Process Entail?
When seeking appellate relief after a conviction, a skilled Orange County criminal appeals lawyer will review the trial transcript in search for issue that arose. The attorney will draft an appellate brief outlining the issue with support of law. This is an extremely tedious task that may take weeks or even months to finish. Once the brief is submitted to the appellate court, the opposing party will have a chance to respond. After the submission of the briefs are finalized, the court will schedule a date to hear oral arguments on the merits. Because the appellate court must review the trial transcript and submit an opinion as to their decision, it often takes months and sometimes years to hear their decision. If a party loses in the court of appeal, then may petition for review in the California Supreme Court or seek federal review in United States District Court.
What are Common Appellate Issues?
When appealing a conviction, your appeals attorney must review the trial transaction in search for any legal issues that arose. It’s important to note that in some cases, there must have been an objection by the trial attorney to preserve the issue for appellate review. There are several issues commonly litigated in the appellate level, include:
- Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel
- Unreasonable Search and/or Seizure
- Insufficient Evidence to Support the Conviction(s)
- Prosecutorial Misconduct
- Jury Instructional Error
- Sentencing Error
Motions for a New Trial
Submitting a motion for a new trial is a helpful practice for appellate lawyers. Typically, the new trial motion will contain arguments that can be re-litigated in the appellate level if the new trial motion is denied. New trial motions are also a tedious task and always worth the attempt to persuade the judge to vacate the finding of guilt and order a new trial on the merits. However, not every issue can be litigated, only certain issues are relevant to a new trial motion.
Contact an Orange County Criminal Appeals Lawyer
The Law Offices of John D. Rogers exclusively handles criminal appellate work in both the state and federal level. To schedule a free confidential consultation concerning the process and advisement on the issues, contact an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney. Not every lawyer is knowledgeable in appellate procedure and could be doing their client a disservice by not properly litigating on their behalf. The stand is must different in the appellate level that most trial lawyers are not aware of. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.