How can you reverse a criminal conviction?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | Criminal Appeals |

When a court issues you or a loved one a criminal conviction, you need to know your legal options.

Depending on your case’s circumstances, you have several possibilities during the appeals process, including an opportunity for a new trial or a potential reversal of your conviction.

Filing a motion for a new trial

If you believe mistakes in handling your case affected the outcome, you can file a motion for a new trial. You must identify the specific errors that indicate misconduct. The most common claims involve:

  • Faulty jury instructions
  • Inadmissible arguments by the prosecution
  • Exclusion of evidence or testimony that proves innocence
  • Bribery of a juror

Filing a direct appeal

After formal sentencing, you have 10 days to file a notice of appeal. Then, you must file a Record on Appeal in the Court of Appeals within 90 days. This filing consists of your legal file and trial transcript. State rules specify how to argue your appeal and limit claims mainly to trial errors, such as:

  • Improper admission of evidence
  • Illegal search or questioning by police officers
  • Problematic jury selection process
  • Insufficient evidence

Appellate judges examine the information in the Record on Appeal to determine if there were mistakes in your trial.

Filing a writ of habeas corpus

This legal filing argues that there were violations of your rights during the trial. Typically these are claims you discovered after your direct appeal, like ineffective assistance of counsel. This argument alleges that your trial lawyer failed to do something that a competent representative would do.

You have many legal options to fight your case and possibly overturn your conviction. It is essential to understand the process, the deadlines and the rules to improve your chances of a successful reversal.


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