There exists no guarantee that a criminal appeal will be successful. However, all good defense attorneys have developed strategies and techniques that help them win their cases. Your number one resource when seeking an appeal is finding a lawyer who is prepared to fight for you throughout the appeals process. For the defendant, this means retaining counsel with experience, skill and commitment.

The American Bar Association (ABA) always stands ready to help the justice system function as intended. This is just as important in helping defendants receive a fair trial as it is in making certain those charged with a crime actually deserve a conviction. For the criminal appeals process, the ABA serves as a source of guidance for attorneys. Below you will find several tactical steps the ABA recommends when seeking an appeal.

Communication: Speaking frankly with defendants helps lawyers uncover the defendant’s goals through an appeal. Goal examples include reversal of the conviction, winning a new trial or gaining an adequate plea bargain.

Opening brief: Experienced defense lawyers know that the opening brief can make all the difference in the outcome of an appeal. As such, they will seize this opportunity to make a good argument on the defendant’s behalf.

Opposition’s brief: When the government opposes the appeal, it will need to file its own brief detailing why no appeal should occur. In turn, it is the defense lawyer’s responsibility to thoroughly study the opposition’s brief so that he or she can make the proper response.

Reply brief: After reviewing the oppositional brief, the defense attorney has a chance to respond. This may be the lawyer’s last chance to advocate for the defendant so it is important not to waste such an opportunity.

With the right approach, many criminal appeals can be successful. Make sure you find an attorney with the skill to meet any challenges associated with appealing a conviction in the state of Missouri.