It is not uncommon for those found guilty of a crime to feel that they were wrongly convicted or given an unfair sentence. Appealing a criminal conviction can be challenging, but you do have options. An experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney will educate you on your right to file an appeal and guide you through the appellate process. It may be possible to have your charges reduced or dropped completely.
As criminal defense attorneys we can advise you whether or not your case should be appealed based on numerous factors, including:
- Errors at the trial
- Improper jury instructions
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Suppression of evidence
- Sentencing errors
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
Appeals are based on finding error that occurred during your trial. If your constitutional rights were violated or research shows strong evidence to move forward, an appeal can be filed on your behalf and the process of appealing a criminal conviction will begin.
Appealing a Criminal Conviction
It is important to understand that an appeal is not a retrial of the case. Appealing a criminal conviction is used to determine whether or not court proceedings were conducted in a fair manner. During this process the case is looked at closely to determine if errors were made and if those errors may have changed the result of your trial. When appealing a criminal conviction judges will look for errors that may have influenced the verdict. Certain errors may be considered “harmless errors” which means the judge reviewing the case did not feel they had an impact on the results of your trial.
There are various errors that may occur within a trial; however, some that may be more familiar to you are fundamental errors, harmful errors, harmless errors, invited error, and reversible error. Here is a brief explanation of a few of the more common errors discussed in cases involving appeals:
A fundamental error will typically be clear to the court when it sees it. Fundamental errors are considered errors that do not allow a party the right to a fair trial.
A harmful error is an error that an appellate court concludes likely had an impact on the outcome of a trial.
A harmless error is considered by an appellate court to have no impact on the outcome of the trial.
Contact a Fresno Appellate Attorney
If you would like to confidentially discuss the details of your case and appealing a criminal conviction please contact The Law Office of Gregory W. Fox today at (559) 222-5800. In most instances an appointment can be scheduled for the same day.