When you proceed to trial on criminal charges, you are aiming for the best possible outcome. Sometimes, however, errors do happen, and you do not receive the result that you expected. As a Chattanooga appeals lawyer could tell you, you should not lose hope, as filing an appeal might give you a second chance at a better resolution to your case.
You must follow strict deadlines to appeal criminal decisions following trial, so promptly getting legal advice may be essential to your appeal. In some cases, you may be able to benefit from a higher court reviewing your case for errors. A seasoned criminal defense attorney may be able to fully advise you of the options available for relief in your case.
Individuals are more likely to have a successful appeal if they are able to identify errors that justify changes in the outcome of the case. While many people are dissatisfied with the verdict that they receive in a criminal case, a mere disagreement with the result is not an adequate ground for a successful appeal. Instead, individuals must point to specific mistakes made during a trial that impacted the outcome of the case.
Various issues may be present in criminal cases that justify an appeal. For instance, successful appeals may be based on any of the following grounds:
Although all individuals have the legal right to appeal their convictions and sentences following a trial, appeals are more successful when there is a valid legal reason for the appeal. An appeals lawyer in Chattanooga may be able to examine the verdict in a criminal case and determine whether any legitimate grounds for an appeal exist.
In a direct appeal to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals following a criminal trial, individuals file a written brief that sets forth the errors that they believe were made in their case. An attorney from the Attorney General’s Office represents the state and would then file a response to the arguments that individuals have made on appeal. At any stage of the appellate proceedings, the Court of Criminal Appeals may ask the parties to present their sides to the dispute by holding oral arguments.
Appeals do not allow individuals to introduce new evidence about their cases or to present witness testimony. Instead, a panel of three judges from the Court of Criminal Appeals would only review the transcript of the trial. This transcript is a written version of the trial that occurred, complete with copies of all exhibits that the trial court admitted into evidence.
Once the Court of Criminal Appeals issues its written opinion, individuals could further appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Unlike the Court of Criminal Appeals, however, the Supreme Court chooses whether to review appeals. If the Supreme Court denies the request for review, then the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals becomes final. With the help of a Chattanooga appeals lawyer, convicted people could take a second look at their cases.
If a direct appeal is not appropriate or successful, individuals may have other means of relief. For example, individuals are able to file a petition for post-conviction relief within one year of the final order in their case. Individuals file these motions with the trial court, in which they argue that the court should overturn the verdict or sentence based on constitutional rights violations.
Once individuals have completed all their state appeals, they could file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. This petition requests a release from incarceration due to unlawful imprisonment as a result of the violation of a federal constitutional right. An appeals attorney in Chattanooga may be able to discuss the available options for individuals seeking relief from a criminal conviction.
Filing for an appeal and other forms of post-conviction relief is often a lengthy and complicated process. Adhering to all legal rules and deadlines is critical to maintaining a strong appeal. Getting the advice of a Chattanooga appeals lawyer in this situation may be advantageous to you.
When you are convicted of a crime following a trial, you still should not lose hope. Explore the opportunities for appeals and other forms of relief that may be available in your case.