Understanding the Appeal Process
Being convicted of a crime is very serious and will most likely have a long-lasting, life-altering impact on your life. For some people, being convicted of a crime doesn’t have to be the end of the road. In certain instances, you may be able to appeal the decision to a federal court of appeals. Keep in mind that not all cases are accepted for appeal, but the ones that are will immediately be taken on by a higher court. Criminal cases are perhaps the most frequently appealed, and for good reason. If the verdict was influenced by inappropriate outside factors, juror misconduct, clerical or investigation errors, or various other unfair practices, it may be in your best interest to file an appeal. The criminal defense attorneys at Atkins & Markoff have years of experience working these types of cases and have successfully represented individuals throughout Oklahoma. It is also important to note that either side in a criminal case can appeal the verdict or sentence that was handed out.
What is Appellate Law?
An individual who files an appeal is referred to as an “appellant”. As soon as they begin to pursue an appeal, they must be able to prove that the court made some type of legal error that directly impacted the final decision of the case. The court of appeals will go over all necessary documentation, including how the original court came to its conclusion, as well as additional evidence and witness testimony that was not presented.
The Best Chance for Appeal
Before you decide to file an appeal, it is important to keep in mind that the criminal justice system is stacked against any individual who is charged and convicted of a crime. That being said, if you truly believe that you were either wrongfully convicted or that the sentence you received should be different, we can help you file an appeal. The strongest arguments for appeal are those that were brought up before the district court ruled upon them. This is due in large part to the fact that the court of appeals does not take the place of the district court, but instead they review and question the decisions that were handed out by the district court judges.
What are the Steps of an Appeal?
Here is a brief look at the various steps that go into an appeal:
- Find out if you can or cannot appeal a decision
- Collect all papers and documents that were used in the trial court
- File a notice of appeal with the court
- Find out if an appeal bond must be filed (in the event the sentence was death)
- Have your appellate lawyer file memorandum and write briefs
- Oral arguments (optional)
- Higher court decision
This should give you a better idea of how the appeal process works and whether or not it is the right move for you. To learn more about appealing a decision in Oklahoma, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.