If you were wrongfully convicted of a crime after a trial, you still have options to appeal your conviction. If successful, you could get a new trial, or the appellate court might direct the judge to adjust your sentence. An appellate court could even reverse your conviction.
Contact a New Britain appeals lawyer immediately if you believe you were wrongfully convicted of a crime. You have a brief window to file a notice of appeal. If you do not file within 20 days of your conviction, you could lose your right to contest the conviction or the judge’s sentence.
A lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could review the court record, explain the appeals process, and prepare the necessary briefs and motions. We are prepared to present a persuasive argument and fight for your future.
The Basis for a Criminal Appeal
A criminal defendant would have grounds for appeal if irregularities or mistakes influenced the trial’s outcome. The issue could relate to the judge, the prosecutor, the jury, a witness, or the defense lawyer.
There are numerous grounds for appeal; a New Britain appellate attorney would select the grounds based on the trial record. Common reasons for appealing criminal convictions include the following:
- The jury selection process was unfair to the defendant
- The judge mistakenly allowed the jury to hear evidence it should not have heard because the evidence was prejudicial or gathered illegally
- The judge did not allow the jury to hear evidence that would have supported the defendant’s position
- The judge unfairly limited a defense lawyer’s cross-examination of a witness
- The prosecutor knowingly allowed a witness to present false testimony
- The judge gave improper instructions to the jury
- One or more jurors engaged in misconduct
- The defense counsel failed to provide effective legal representation
Any other alleged violation of a defendant’s rights or misapplication of the law could be the basis of a criminal appeal.
A defendant and their New Britain appeals attorney could challenge the conviction, the sentence, or both. In some cases, the appeals court reverses a trial court’s decision, and the defendant walks away from the criminal charge. The court often sends a case back to the lower courts with an explanation of the error. Sometimes these decisions result in a new trial.
Preparing an Appeal in New Britain
An appeals court is a panel of judges who read and hear legal arguments about what happened in the lower court. They do not consider new evidence or hear witness testimony.
A local appeals lawyer could review every piece of evidence and word spoken in court to find mistakes and legal errors. If the error or mistake was substantial enough to influence the trial’s outcome, it becomes part of the basis for appeal.
The attorney writes a legal brief explaining how the trial proceedings infringed on the defendant’s rights and submits the brief to the appellate court. The court schedules a hearing where the attorneys argue the points in their brief, attack the other side’s arguments, and answer the judges’ questions. A few weeks later, the court usually issues its decision.
A Criminal Appeal Could Delay the Start of the Sentence
When a criminal defendant is out on bail during their trial, an appeal usually delays the execution of their sentence. If the defendant faces incarceration, they usually can remain free until they exhaust their appeals. The appeals process is slow, so the defendant could remain free for a year or more while their appeal is pending.
Sometimes a judge will require a defendant to report to jail while they appeal. Connecticut General Statute §54-95 requires the judge to state the reasons for such a decision. Possible reasons could include that the defendant is a flight risk or poses a danger to themselves or others. If a defendant were in jail during the trial, they would likely remain there during the appeals process.
Trust a New Britain Attorney to Manage Your Appeal
A jury’s verdict does not have to be the last word in your case. If problems at the trial affected the outcome, you could seek justice through the appellate court system.
A New Britain appeals lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can construct a persuasive argument and help you set things right. Call our firm today to discuss your situation and get the representation you need.