The appeal is used to determine if there were certain factors present in the case that could overturn the court’s decision. Appeals typically involve showing that legal and factual errors were made during the trial, and these errors had a profound impact on the case’s outcome.
- Misconduct on the part of the prosecution
- The evidence failed to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
- The jury received improper instructions
- The judge made errors during the course of the trial
- Defendant’s legal counsel was so ineffective that it impacted the outcome of the case
- A law or regulation was applied erroneously
Filing an Appeal: An Overview
- Your attorney will file a notice of appeal with the court that handled your trial before the deadline.
- The trial court will file the transcripts (“record”) of your original trial with the appellate court. Your lawyer then has 120 days to review the transcripts and create an appellate brief, which is a lengthy document that argues why you should win the appeal based upon laws and past cases.
- After your lawyer has submitted the appellate brief, the state’s attorney can file an opposition that challenges the arguments presented in your brief. Your lawyer then has the opportunity to file another brief in response. Based upon the case, your attorney may be allowed to also present an oral argument before the appellate judges in addition to the appellate brief.
- The appellate judges will review the briefs and any oral arguments, and then prepare and deliver the court’s decision as a written opinion.