If you have a criminal conviction, you may rightly be wondering if and how you might be able to appeal that decision. A criminal conviction carries serious consequences for your life and your future, which may include jail time. A successful appeal can reverse your conviction.

Whether you are able to appeal and how you can go about doing so depends on your particular case. Here is some information about how to pursue an appeal of a conviction in the state of Missouri:

Initiating an appeal

The Missouri Courts state that as a general rule, you must submit a notice of appeal within 10 days after your judgment becomes final. This applies to both civil and criminal cases. You cannot file an appeal unless you have received a final judgment. In criminal cases, the judgment is final when a judge overrides a motion for a new trial and after a judge issues a judgment and sentence. If the judge does not impose a sentence, you cannot appeal.

Limited options after conviction

Your options become more limited after you receive a conviction. This is why your first appeal is critical and you must take steps to ensure that all those involved in your appeal handle the matter carefully. If not, you may jeopardize your chances for a successful appeal and put yourself further away from a solution. Because the appeals process goes through a different court process than a trial, it is akin to starting an entirely new endeavor. The professionals you need for a successful appeal must have specific experience related to this process to give you the best chance at success.

Appealing your criminal conviction, especially when you know you are innocent or feel that the decision is wrong, is an essential step towards gaining your freedom and overturning the guilty verdict. Ensure you gather all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether you should try for an appeal.