Six Tips to Help You Win Your Criminal Appeal

Sometimes innocent people are wrongly convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit. But, instead of feeling trapped within the guilty verdict, it’s time to take action. There is a chance for reversing the outcome, thanks to the appeals court. 

If you’ve been wrongfully convicted and looking for ways to win your criminal appeal, you need a strong legal defense to help. Navigating this complex time can feel overwhelming, which is why we’ve compiled some tips for winning your criminal appeal.

Six Ways to Help Win a Criminal Appeal

Criminal law is filled with caveats and subtle details, which is why it’s imperative to take specific steps as soon as possible to increase your chances of winning your appeal. Take a look at the six tips below to help you prepare.

1. Work With an Experienced Appeals Attorney

Filing and winning your criminal appeal can be a complicated process, but the prospect of freedom is worth the fight. For this reason, it’s best to work with a highly experienced and knowledgeable criminal appeal attorney from CJB Law.

We aim to provide skillful representation with an in-depth understanding of the criminal appeals process. Once you reach out to our team, we will immediately begin to scrutinize your previous trial for any errors in court documents. This critical analysis of your past trials will hopefully show any improper actions made by the prosecutor or judge. If we can find any legal mistakes that violated your rights, we can make a stronger appeals case.

2. File Your Appeal Paperwork on Time

If you were wrongfully convicted of a crime, it’s crucial to file an appeal as soon as possible. While the initial shock of your verdict may cause an overwhelming response, you need to try not to lose momentum because the window to file your appeal closes quickly. Now, you may be able to qualify for an extension to a criminal appeals deadline based on a good cause; however, this can be rather tricky to navigate on your own. So, once again, you must reach out to your criminal appeals attorney as soon as possible to help with this process.

Your legal advocate can then file an official Notice of Appeal, which states your reason for appealing within the designated time frame. After filing this document with the state, our team will then be able to retrieve a full transcript of your case from a court reporter.

3. Establish Your Innocence

Filing an appeal is the delicate art of looking for a federal law to support your claim, as well as drafting an emotional plea to the judge. When you are innocent, we will fight to prove your innocence. We will even aim to secure your release from prison while your appeal is pending.

Since the appeal process can take some time, our team will work to release you from imprisonment. This could include filing a motion for a release on a bail bond. The court will review your eligibility for bail and base on the decision on several key factors, such as:

  • Criminal history
  • The seriousness of the crime
  • Length of sentence
  • Risk to public safety 
  • Chance of fleeing
  • And more

Even though you don’t have a constitutional right to bail, we will still ease your appeals process with a bail release.

4. Prepare and File Your Opening Brief

This essential step will dictate the rest of the appeals verdict, so it’s vital to work on an effective strategy with your lawyer. Our team will submit an overview of the trial, explain why the judgment was wrong, and provide reasons why the court should overturn the trial court’s decision.

There are numerous reasons to overturn convictions. See only a portion of them below:

  • Poor previous legal counsel
  • Wrongfully admitted character evidence
  • Improper jury instructions
  • Denial of your preferred attorney 
  • Excluded witnesses 
  • Lack of probable cause
  • Mental incompetence 
  • Defendants innocence 
  • Sentencing mistake
  • Violation of statute of limitations 

Our team will hopefully find any of these errors within your court documents so that we can create an effective appeals strategy tailored to your unique case.

Now, the attorney general of Minnesota handles all appellate matters for the state. He will review your lawyer’s opening brief and file a response, known as a Respondent’s Brief. This document will explain to the Court of Appeals why your case should not be overturned. Once the Respondent’s Brief has been submitted, our team can finally submit our Reply Brief, encouraging the process to continue.

5. Develop a Strong Oral Argument

Once both parties submit all official paperwork, the Court of Appeals will notify your criminal appeals lawyer and the attorney general that they are ready to hear arguments. They will set a court date weeks in advance to give plenty of time to prepare. During the appeal, the two lawyers will then argue their case in front of the three court appeal justices assigned to your case.

After they listen to both arguments, the justices will confer with each other to determine their verdict. Then, they will issue a written decision to either affirm or reverse your conviction.

If they do not reverse the initial verdict, you’ll need to confirm with your legal team to determine the next steps. Now, if they do reverse your conviction, we can schedule a retrial for your case.

6. Don’t Lose Hope for Winning Your Criminal Appeal

The appeal process can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially since it can last for an extended period. During this time, It’s important not to lose hope. You have done everything in your power to get quality results, including:

  • Working with a skilled criminal appeals attorney
  • Filing all appropriate paperwork promptly 
  • Developing a strong appeal
  • Maintaining a good image

Now, it’s essential to communicate with your team, keep up your spirits, and trust in the legal process.

Take Action With a Skilled Criminal Appeals Attorney

Since there are so many complicated aspects of attempting to appeal a criminal conviction, it’s essential to work with a skilled team to get the help you need. At CJB Law, winning your criminal appeal is our ultimate goal. Our team will help provide legal arguments, develop a strong defense, and fight to appeal for your wrongful conviction.

When it comes to appealing your criminal conviction, there is no time to waste. So, call us today to schedule your free case evaluation, and let us help you navigate this trying time.