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Continuing The Fight After A Criminal Conviction
A guilty verdict seems like the end of the line. But your fate isn’t necessarily sealed after the judge bangs the gavel. You might have additional legal options, including an appeal or a motion for post-conviction relief.
Courts don’t always get things right — mistakes are made that can impact the outcome of a case. Yet because of the work involved, many law firms are unwilling to take a case beyond the initial trial. At Fox & Fox Co. L.P.A., we are among the few firms in the area offering representation in criminal appeals and post-conviction relief. Please read this page for basic information on the appellate process, then call our firm to discuss your case with one of our attorneys.
Do You Have Grounds To Appeal?
A case cannot be appealed simply because you didn’t agree with the verdict. Before an appeals court will agree to hear your case, you must show that there was a key legal issue or error in the original proceedings that was serious enough to affect the jury verdict and/or the sentence you received.
In deciding whether to grant an appeal, the court does not examine any new evidence. Instead, it relies solely on:
- A review of the trial transcripts
- A review of the evidence presented
- Briefs filed by the defense counsel and the prosecutors
While appeal is certainly an option in many cases, it is not an easy one. You need the help of a skilled and experienced criminal appeals lawyer who can present a strong argument for why an appeal is warranted.
An appellate court may decide to either uphold or overturn a verdict once an appeal has been submitted. But this isn’t a defendant’s only option to improve his or her situation. You can also petition for several motions that constitute post-conviction relief. These include:
- A new trial
- A reduced or otherwise modified sentence
- Vacation of a conviction
Unlike in the appeals process, new evidence and witness statements can be introduced in motions for post-conviction relief. To better understand all of your legal rights and options after a conviction, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at our firm.