The Basics of a Criminal Appeal
When people receive a criminal conviction, they may sometimes think that they are out of options. However, people may be able to file for an appeal in some situations.
People may file an appeal for several reasons. FindLaw says that people can appeal if they think that the evidence does not support the verdict. Legal errors are also grounds for an appeal. Sometimes, judiciary discretion may also be a factor. Defendants may think that the judge disregarded the facts of the case or that personal biases influenced the ruling. Additionally, an appeal may be necessary if defendants think that their legal counsel was inadequate.
What is the appeal process?
If people want to file an appeal, there are certain steps they need to take. According to the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin, people have to file a motion for appeal within 10 days after sentencing. Legal officials review this motion and either approve or deny it. Sometimes, a court may schedule a hearing regarding the motion to appeal. After the defendant receives this decision, he or she has to file a notice of appeal within the next 30 days.
What information do people need?
Defendants need to include as much specific information as possible. Why do they think the appeal is necessary? If people think there was not enough evidence, for example, they need to explain the gaps and the flaws. If people uncovered new evidence, they have to discuss the nature of this evidence.
As people file an appeal, they should remember that a different result is not necessarily guaranteed. While a higher court may hand down a different verdict, it may also uphold the original sentence.