Your case was decided and a ruling was made, but you think some errors were also made. On those grounds, you’re thinking of asking for an appeal. Can you get one, no matter what the error was?

You cannot. The court won’t overturn a judgement and grant you an appeal for anything that is deemed a “harmless error.” Generally speaking, this is one that is not thought to significantly impact your rights or the case itself.

Therefore, don’t latch onto any minor mistake as the key to your appeal. If it looks like the same outcome would have obviously been reached even without that mistake, you may not get another chance.

That being said, errors are a reason for an appeal, if they’re serious enough. The four main reasons that appeals are granted are as follows:

1. The verdict is not supported by the evidence.

2. A clear and serious legal error was made so that the law was not upheld.

3. You claim, under the Sixth Amendment, that you had Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.

4. It’s clear that the court made an errant ruling and “abused its discretion.”

You do have the right to a fair trial. The law does need to be followed. If mistakes led to an unfair conviction, an appeal may be the next logical step to ensure that you’re not sentenced unfairly. Mistakes could include issues with evidence, procedural errors, or mistakes made when applying the law to your case.

If you believe that this has happened and it was not just a harmless error, be sure you know what next steps to take.

Source: FindLaw, “The Basis for a Criminal Appeal,” accessed Aug. 03, 2017