After your conviction, you might consider an appeal to overturn the conviction. Although most people are familiar with appeals as an option, many are ill-prepared for the process. Inadequate preparation can leave you with an unsuccessful appeal.
Understanding the facts about appeals can help you prepare and improve your chances of success.
A plea deal is not typically eligible for appeal
If you read the fine print of your plea deal, you will typically find that accepting the deal forfeits your legal right to an appeal. The only time you can consider an appeal after accepting a plea deal is if there was negligence or misconduct on the lawyer’s part.
Appeals focus on the existing case presentation
When you appeal a conviction, you cannot present any new evidence as part of that appeal. The nature of an appeal is to revisit, re-evaluate and assess the details of the case that resulted in the conviction. New evidence is not permissible in an appeal for that reason.
Many appeals do not result in new hearings
In many cases, appeals involve presenting paperwork instead of appearing for full court hearings. The appeal details, including the grounds for the appeal, the details of the case and the differing perspective are all presented in a written brief to the court and a decision follows after review.
Appeals are a standard and valuable part of the legal process. Preserve and execute your right to an appeal and you might overturn your conviction and protect your freedom.