A defendant in a criminal matter trusts that their attorney is going to do what’s in their best interests. While most criminal defense attorneys do exactly that, there are times when things may happen that have a negative effect on the defendant’s case. You can’t appeal a ruling in a criminal case just because you aren’t happy with the ruling.
Criminal cases can only be appealed if there’s an error in the application of the law or malpractice on the part of the attorney. There are various levels of appeals possible, but the appeals must be presented to the courts in the established order.
#1: New evidence can’t be presented
Appeals typically can’t include any new information. Instead, it focuses on what errors were made in the original case. This means that you can’t include new evidence that wasn’t included in the previous court hearings.
#2: Most are handled with written briefs
Nearly all appeals are handled through written briefs that outline which parts of the case weren’t handled in accordance with the law. The appeals court will review that information and the applicable parts of the court record to determine if the appeal is valid.
There are some instances in which verbal arguments are necessary. Typically, this will only happen if the appeals court determines that they’re necessary. Time limits will apply, and there usually aren’t witnesses called during the verbal briefs.
#3: Plea deals aren’t usually appealable
Plea deals can’t be appealed unless there was negligence on the part of the attorney. Most plea deals have a clause that says they can’t be appealed because the defendant agreed to the deal with the prosecution before the court.
Anyone who feels they need to appeal a criminal matter should ensure they understand exactly what points they can appeal. Getting these matters together to present to the court can be a challenge, but working with someone familiar with appeals can help to reduce the stress you feel during it. Getting the process started as soon as possible is beneficial because these cases can take time.