The American criminal justice system is imperfect. Just as human error impacts every American commercial and service industry, so does it impact each and every branch of the government. Thankfully, there are processes in place designed to “catch” mistakes and set things right again that have been put askew. For example, when either a civil or criminal verdict has been reached mistakenly, the wronged party may request an appeal. In the case of wrongful criminal conviction, an experienced Farifax, VA criminal appeal lawyer can help those affected request an appeal to get the wrongful conviction overturned.
Appealing a Criminal Conviction – The Basics
When a judge or jury hands down a criminal conviction, the individual who has been convicted can work with an experienced Farifax, VA criminal appeal lawyer to file an appeal with the next highest court. Depending on the infraction in question, that appeals court may be state-run or federal. In the request for appeal, an attorney will outline any rules violations or other challenges that may have contributed to the initial, erroneous verdict. Once the appeal is reviewed by the higher court, the conviction may be upheld, overturned, upheld in part or sent back down to the lower court for additional review. It should be noted that if the conviction in question resulted from a guilty plea, the individual facing conviction is not always granted an automatic right to appeal. By contrast, if a defendant originally pleaded not guilty but was convicted anyway, the right of appeal is usually automatically granted.
In general, in order to have an appeal granted, the higher court will need to be convinced that the defendant has adequate grounds for appeal. Meaning, some sort of legal error, misconduct on the part of a juror, ineffective assistance of counsel or some other legally valid “problem” must have occurred during the first trial before an appeals court will review the verdict in question. If everything in the initial trial was “by the book” than a defendant likely won’t have strong grounds for appeal. However, in criminal cases involving an automatic right to appeal, legal challenges need not have been present in the initial trial for an appellate court to review the case. However, if there were no problems present in that trial, the appellate court will have little reason to overturn the will of the initial judge or jury.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you need to appeal a criminal conviction or you would like to help a loved one appeal a conviction, schedule a consultation with a Fairfax, Virginia criminal appeal lawyer at the law office of Dave Albo – Attorney today. The appeals process is complex and is not always easy to navigate. However, having an experienced Fairfax, VA criminal defense lawyer guide you through the process will increase your chances of success. The criminal justice system does not always get verdicts right the first time. Let our legal team help you to try to get yours right once and for all.