There are a variety of actions that can be taken post-conviction, one of which is a Petition for New Trial.  An appeal is a request to a higher court to review a decision after a Superior Court trial or proceeding.  If a lawyer believes an error was made that adversely affected the result, he can ask the trial court judge to overturn the decision or to order a new trial. If the judge denies the request, the losing party may file an appeal in a higher court.

The first step after a conviction for a criminal appeal is to file a written Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the Superior Court in which the proceeding took place. In criminal and juvenile cases, transcripts of the underlying proceedings are automatically prepared. All parties are notified once the record on appeal has been filed with the Court of Appeal. From the date the record was filed, the defendant (now referred to as the Appellant) has a specified period of time within which to file the Appellant’s Opening Brief, depending on the type of case. This “brief” is a series of written arguments that set forth the underlying facts of the case and issues raised by the Appellant, including challenges to the Superior Court rulings or findings; the brief sets forth the basis for reversing the lower court’s decision by referencing the applicable statutes (laws) and precedent (previous case decisions). The Attorney General represents the People of the State of California on these appeals( in contrast to the City Attorney or District Attorney who handled the lower court case) and files the Respondent’s Brief, to which the Appellant may file a reply brief.

Once the briefs have been filed the case is randomly assigned to a panel of justices. Then, the justices review the briefs and a memorandum  written by a staff attorney for the Court of Appeal. Thereafter, oral argument is scheduled and the justices have the opportunity to hear the Appellant’s attorney argue the case. After oral argument, a member of the panel prepares and files an Opinion, which is a written statement of the court’s decision. Some decisions are “published” and, as such, become legal precedent for future cases.

Decisions of the Court of Appeal are subject to “discretionary” review by the California Supreme Court as well as the United States Supreme Court, for decisions based on the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.

Should You File an Appeal or Writ after a Criminal Conviction?

A trial judges has a tremendous responsibility and as such there may be a procedural error, &/or an erroneous ruling on evidence (such as admitting certain evidence into trial, and/or refusing to exclude evidence that should have been suppressed) . A criminal appeal may be used to correct those errors when a defendant has been convicted of a crime. A  defendant may also want to appeal a portion of the judgment or criminal sentence as in the case where the sentence to jail or state prison is significantly harsher than it should have been. In some cases, release on bail may be approved while an appeal is pending. .

There are critical time deadlines that apply for filing an appeal of a criminal conviction. If you miss the deadline, it will usually mean the opportunity to appeal the case has been lost. Therefore, if you are considering an appeal of a criminal conviction, it is very important to act quickly and to always discuss this with your trial attorney or call an appeal lawyer.

What Is a Writ?

A “writ” is a request for review of a ruling and/or decision to the Court of Appeal to issue an Order to modify a Superior Court Judge’s ruling. If it is granted, the Superior Court is required to modify one of its orders or have a hearing. A writ also has strict filing deadlines.

If you have been wrongly convicted of a crime, proving your innocence can be difficult. Call Spital & Associates if you want to file a criminal appeal or Writ of Habeas Corpus. We will use experienced private investigators and crime experts to prove your innocence. Our San Diego criminal appeals attorneys will fight aggressively to prove you were wrongly convicted. Our founder, Sam Spital, has handled dozens of criminal appeals in all courts in the State of California, including the Court of Appeal and State Supreme Court, as well as all Federal Courts, including the Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

Contact our Criminal Appeals Lawyer Today!

If you have a question about a criminal appeal in California, send us an email or call 619.583.0350 from 8:00am to 9:00pm seven days a week.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.