Criminal Appeals Attorneys in California
Many of those who have been convicted of a criminal offense in California may decide to file a criminal appeal. After all, sometimes judges make incorrect rulings, prosecutors may act in an unethical manner, or jurors may not have had all the facts necessary to return a fair verdict.
When any of these things occur, the law offers those convicted of a crime a second chance at justice. In a California appeal, a higher court is asked to review specific aspects of a case for legal error. Errors are made in a number of ways during a trial and are most often unintentional. They fall under the realm of:
- Evidence used that shouldn't have been allowed to be presented
- Withholding evidence that would be advantageous to the accused
- Incorrect laws being applied to the case
- The judge may have confused the jury with his instructions concerning your case
- The sentence was inappropriate for the crime you are charged with
It is important to understand that simply not being happy with the outcome of your criminal trial is not sufficient grounds for an appeal—there must have been some key legal mistake(s) which affected the jury's decision or the sentence imposed. New evidence is not permitted in a California criminal appeal—only the record and evidence of the original trial will be considered.
Time Constraints for Filing a Notice of Appeal for Misdemeanor Cases
In Los Angeles, in order to secure a new trial and a second chance at freedom, you must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the time of your misdemeanor judgement or order. No late applications will be accepted, so it is critical that your appeal be filed in a timely manner.
The prosecution then has ten days to make corrections or amendments to your appeals statement and file this revised statement with the trial court. Once the appeal has been certified by the trial judge, it will be sent to the Appellate Division.
You will then receive a notice which explains the time frame for your opening brief—your opportunity to explain (via your attorney) why you believe your case was unduly prejudiced. Typically, the brief must be submitted 40 days after the filing of the appeal. If the brief is not submitted within that window of time, your appeal could be summarily dismissed.
It is extremely important that all rules regarding your California criminal appeal are strictly adhered to, therefore it is equally important that you have a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who specializes California appellate law be by your side from start to finish.
The California laws which pertain to California criminal appeals are considerably different than the laws which govern criminal trials. A criminal appeal can be significantly jeopardized by time delays, mistakes and ignorance of the laws which govern appeals. Once your appeal brief has been filed by your attorney, a date will be set for an oral argument.
Time Constraints for Filing a California Felony Appeal
If your crime was a felony, and a federal crime, your Los Angeles felony appeal will be filed first with the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, then, ultimately, with the Supreme Court of the United States.
If your criminal felony conviction was not for a federal crime, it will be filed in the California Court of Appeal. For a California felony appeal, you have 60 days from the time of the judgment or order you are appealing.
A felony appeal is filed in the same manner as a misdemeanor appeal, including the Notice, the brief and the oral arguments.
As a general rule, a felony appeal in the state of California can take about a year from the time the appeal is filed until a decision is rendered, although it could be longer or shorter, depending on how complex the case is.
Once a decision is reached by the California Court of Appeals, either side may ask for a review from the Supreme Court of California, however this request must be submitted within ten days of the decision.
Contact Our Defense Lawyers for Help
For an individual charged, convicted and sentenced for a crime, knowing that they may be able to appeal gives them a second chance to achieve justice. In the appeal, if mistakes and errors are indeed found, the entire case and conviction could be thrown out.
If this is the case, you may get your sentence reduced or have a new trial altogether to correct the wrong or misleading evidence given in the first trial.
However, having an appeal lawyer who is very knowledgeable in the handling of criminal appeals is invaluable to you as the California criminal appeal process is highly specialized and a very complicated process. Our legal staff will fight aggressively on your behalf for the most advantageous results you deserve.
The circumstances surrounding a criminal appeal in the state of California is complex. If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the State of California, it is important to speak to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Cron, Israels & Stark as soon as possible.
Call our office or fill out our confidential contact form to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges. We can help determine if there are grounds for filing a criminal appeal. We will fight for your future.