Justice Statue

Appealing a Criminal Conviction: 3 Steps to Preserve Your Rights

Being wrongly convicted of a crime can be one of the more terrifying situations you might find yourself in. Fortunately, there is an appeals process. This allows you to appeal your conviction in front of a new judge. While few convictions are overturned on appeal, this is a second chance to prove your innocence. There are specific rules when it comes to appealing your case, such as what you can use as your defense. It’s important to know these rules so that you are properly prepared for your appeal. It could be the difference between proving your innocence and spending years in prison. Here are three essential things to know so that you can preserve your rights during an appeal.

Make All Arguments

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you might have several arguments to claim your innocence. Some of these arguments may seem like winners while others may appear unlikely to succeed. Regardless of how good the argument appears, you should still use the argument in your original trial. The reason for this is that if you don’t raise a specific argument in your original trial, you may lose the right to appeal on those specific grounds. Depending on how your original argument went and the evidence that’s presented, you may need that other argument in your appeal. While some of your arguments may seem weaker than others, raising each one will ensure that you have the strongest case possible for your appeal.

Know When You Can Appeal

If you’ve been charged with a crime, the situation could arise where a judge’s decision determines your fate before the trial is actually finished. For example, the judge could decide not to allow a key piece of evidence that was essential for your defense, leaving you with no case. In many cases, you have to actually be convicted of a crime before you are able to begin the appeals process. However, there are some situations where you might be able to immediately appeal the decision to a higher court, even though you have yet to be convicted. It’s important to know when you can appeal your case and on what grounds. This will ensure that you do so at the right time and don’t lose the right to your appeal.

Paperwork and Gavel

Filing Your Appeal

If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you have the right to an appeal. However, you only have a certain amount of time to file that appeal. If you wait until that time has elapsed, you could lose that right. This could result in spending time in jail or prison, despite being innocent of the crime. After your conviction, you’ll have a limited amount of time to file any post-trial motions and seek reconsideration of evidence. You will also have only 30 days to apply for a new trial or file your notice of appeal. Your lawyer should know these deadlines before your conviction so that there is plenty of time to file any paperwork necessary and leave time for any potential delays.

If you have more questions regarding an appeal of a criminal conviction, contact Ortega Law today. We have the best criminal lawyers in Anne Arundel County who will help fight for your rights every step of the way.