Dealing with the appeals that come with a criminal conviction can feel overwhelming. After a while, it can seem to get cumbersome and frustrating.
Clearing your criminal record is important since convictions could impact your freedom and your family. When you have a conviction on your record, you will want to take every opportunity to get a fresh start.
Here’s what you should know about the new year and your criminal appeal.
Moving your case forward
When you disagree with the court’s decision, your next step is an appeal. The timing of the appeal has more to do with your individual case and the court’s schedule rather than the calendar. However, there are obligations to keep your case moving, so you can get your next answer.
Understanding an appeal
A common misunderstanding is that an appeal is a new chance to have the court look at your case or present new evidence. While an appeal can lead to a higher court ordering a lower court to take another look at the case, the appeal looks only at legal errors to determine the next step.
Typically, in a criminal appeal, courts will look for errors, such as:
- Mistakes in interpreting the law
- Abuse of discretion resulting in an errant ruling
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- Evidence that does not support the verdict
Keep in mind that an appeal does not mean every error could result in a successful appeal. There are also “harmless errors.” Harmless errors are mistakes that, while wrong, would not change the ultimate ruling in the case.
Pursuing an appeal is an essential part of dealing with your criminal conviction. However, it is not something you should pursue on your own. It is critical to have an experienced professional support you through the process.