Appeals Law and Post Conviction Cases
The legal system in the United States offers numerous avenues for those with legitimate cause to appeal their cases after conviction. Specially trained and experienced criminal defense attorneys usually handle these highly specialized legal techniques. To find out if your case is eligible for appeal or other relief, contact a lawyer right away.
Appeals (Federal and State)
An appeal is an opportunity for a convicted person to ask a higher court to review or re-hear his case. Generally, there must be a legal reason or grounds for an appeal. Your defense attorney can help you determine whether your case is eligible for appeal.
“Apprendi” refers to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down on the ability of judges to increase sentences at their discretion beyond the maximum allowed. Effects of this ruling are still being seen in courts around the country. Your may be able to appeal your conviction if you have an Apprendi case.
Changes of Plea
During a criminal trial, you may be asked to enter a plea, which may be guilty, not guilty, or another special plea. However, it may happen that changing your plea could benefit your case. You should speak with your defense attorney for legal advice about change of plea options.
Motions for a New Trial
A motion for a new trial may be made if there were significant legal errors in the way the original trial was conducted. Although this motion is not often granted, your criminal defense attorney may use it as a strategy in planning for future appeals.
Under certain circumstances, a criminal defendant may be allowed to withdraw a guilty plea. Typically this is done to correct a wrong or an injustice associated with the guilty plea. Your criminal defense lawyer can advise you whether or not this is applicable in your case.
If you are convicted of a crime and have legal reason to believe that your punishment is not fair and equitable, you may be eligible to file a post-conviction motion for relief. These motions request the court that heard your case to make modifications to the sentence. Contact your defense lawyer for more information.
Many times a person convicted of a crime has grounds to request a sentence appeal. This type of appeal does not seek to overturn the conviction, rather to adjust the terms of the sentence. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you understand whether your case warrants a sentence appeal.
Sentence modifications may be made by the court originally hearing the case (although this is rare) or by an appellate court. Modifications that may be sought include the reduction of jail or probation term, reduction of fines, etc. Contact your lawyer for details.
A sentence reversal may reduce or eliminate the criminal penalties of a conviction, although the guilty verdict still stands. This type of appeal is complex and requires certain legal criteria that may vary from state to state. To find out more about sentence reversals, consult a qualified defense attorney.
Writs of Certiorari
In some cases where no other appeal is available, a losing party may wish to bring his case to the US Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, it will issue a writ of certiorari. This is a rare situation that must be handled by a qualified and experienced attorney.
Writs of Habeas Corpus
Writ of habeas corpus is a legal method of protesting imprisonment or imprisonment conditions. It allows jailed suspects to get help from the courts and was devised as a way to prevent unjust or improper imprisonment. Your legal counsel can advise you as to whether you can apply for writ of habeas corpus.
Writs of Mandamus
A writ of mandamus is a very rare legal instrument designed to prevent or remedy a failure of justice when the law has not established a specific remedy where there justifiably should be one. Please speak with your legal counsel about your options for a writ of mandamus.