Criminal Appeals Lawyer
Basics on Appealing a Criminal Sentence
In most cases, once sentenced, there is nothing that can be done. This is especially so where the judge bases his sentence on the preset sentencing guidelines. In other cases, the sentence may be too severe or too light for a crime. At this point, appealing will be a good move. However, to do this the right way, you will need to work with the best criminal appeals lawyer. This is because spotting a mistake and matching it with the sentencing guidelines is not an easy thing. An experienced appellate criminal attorney San Diego will, on the other hand, make the connections fast.
Which cases are most appealed?
Most of the cases being taken to the appeals court are the serious ones. You will not find many people appealing minor cases whose maximum sentencing is a few weeks or months behind bars. However, when it comes to serious crimes where heavy fines are to be paid and serious jail time to be served, the number of appeals is overwhelming. The first thing you must do when filing for an appeal is to consult with an experienced criminal appeals lawyer. Not all cases are worth appealing and the last thing you would want is to waste time and money on a case you will ultimately lose.
Who files an appeal?
An appeal may be filed by the defendant or the prosecution. If a defendant is dissatisfied with the sentencing, where he has been sentenced more severely than necessary, he will file an appeal. On the part of the prosecution, an appeal is filed where the sentence is too light for the crime committed. If dissatisfied, either side can file an appeal. The important thing is to make sure you have the best criminal appeals lawyer working for you.
Why a good lawyer?
To win an appeal, you must be able to prove your case. This means you must be able to point out the mistakes that the sentencing judge made. Doing this requires that you go through the court record prior to your sentencing then match the mistakes to the sentencing guidelines. The key reason you need a good criminal appeals lawyer is because finding the judge’s mistakes is not an easy thing. You will need someone who knows what he or she is looking for. In addition to that, there are very strict federal rules you have to follow when filing an appeal. A criminal appeals lawyer will help you through.
How do you appeal?
To file an appeal, the first thing the criminal appeals lawyer will do is file a certain form with the court’s clerk of where you are entering your plea. This form is known as the notice of appeal. If you don’t file in time, you risk being ignored by the new judge or court. The notice of appeal has to be filed within 10 days after sentencing. The criminal appeals lawyer will also be required to write and file an appellate brief. The brief explains why you think the judge made a mistake when sentencing you. Your appellate brief may be countered by a ‘reply brief’ from the prosecution which discredits your claims.