Criminal Conviction Appeals in California: What You Need to Know Before Filing Your Appeal

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Appeals are available when conviction occurs, but these are not always effective and may even lead to further disappointment if they fail. However, appealing in a California criminal law case is necessary for many that face severe penalties and prison or jail terms on top of extensive fines.

An Appeal Explained

Many may not understand that an appeal is not a new trial. The appeals court may not retry a case or accept any provided evidence that is new. The initial process for the appeal is to determine if any mistakes or errors occurred during the trial. These could reverse the conviction if discovered. However, an appeal is not available to those that just do not like the result. Grounds must exist for an appeal to progress forward. Without these, the individual may not file for an appeal. It is vital to discuss these matters with the lawyer hired for the trial. If another must take an appeal, open communication is crucial.

Sometimes and appeal cannot proceed even if a mistake has been found. Some errors are harmless and are not grounds for an appeal. The mistake must have an impact on the deliberation for an appeal to move forward. Any harmless errors would not change the conviction. It is up to the court to decide whether the mistake was harmful enough that a reversal is possible. The time limit that applies usually involves a 30 or 60-day window. It is imperative to act immediately from the date sentencing initiated. Misdemeanors usually provide 30 days, and felonies 60 days.

Bail During an Appeal

Some individuals may face an appeal process while out on bail. This depends heavily on the case and circumstances of the arrest. If the person in the conviction is violent or deemed a flight risk, he or she may not receive bail opportunities. Misdemeanor crimes provide automatic rights for bail when an appeal is pending. However, felony convictions do not give these same benefits. The appellate lawyer must argue for the person. He or she may not successfully argue the case. It is important to understand that bail is only possible and not a guarantee.

Losing the Appeal

It is important to keep hope alive even when facing a lost appeal. The lawyer may then petition the court for a rehearing within a fifteen-day period of the rejection. However, some of these fail as well. Then, it is on to a petition for review with the California Supreme Court within a 40-day time frame from the ruling with the appellate court. In in event this Court rejects the request, a criminal appeal lawyer may still pursue other appellate possible remedies in federal courts beyond state court processes. It is important to know what this entails. For consideration in federal courts, additional processes may occur.

Winning an Appeal

Knowing what to expect in the event that an appeal is successful is important. Even before the appeal starts, the individual may need to prepare for the end result. Winning the appeal is important, but the case may not conclude with this. This does reserves the lower courtís decision, but the case is then remanded to the lower court again. However, the success may not drop the charges automatically. In this event, the prosecutor has a decision to make. He or she may attempt a plea bargain with the individual, try for another trial or drop the charges entirely. This may depend on certain factors.

To win an appeal, an experienced appellate lawyer is necessary. For a plea bargain negotiation, legal representatives work together to determine the best possible options for both parties. Then, these are accepted or rejected based on what the defendant is willing to take. When prison terms are part of the plea, the individual may deny the bargain attempting to acquire a better option. Even with a successful appeal, going to prison may still occur. It is crucial to consider all factors before proceeding with the appeal. The legal representative usually communicates what could happen and what to expect.

Legal Support for Appeals

The California criminal courts are similar to other states, but legal violations start at the state level. Before federal courts become part of the process, a California lawyer is necessary to appeal the conviction in these cases. Hiring a lawyer in California is necessary to attempt a reversal or plea bargain. This could also provide the best possible advantage in negotiations or to succeed in an appeal.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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