Criminal Appeals Process

Criminal Appeals Process

A trial judge makes a number of decisions throughout the life of a criminal case.  They range from whether to grant to continuance, to whether to sustain or overrule an objection, to whether the defendant should be acquitted.  Some of these decisions must be made without the benefit of reflection or research.  Fortunately, all of the trial judge’s decisions are subject to review by appellate judges.  Of course, the jury’s ultimate decision as to guilt or innocence is also subject to review by an appellate court.  If any of the trial judge’s decisions are incorrect, or if the jury’s decision is not supported by sufficient evidence, the defendant may be entitled to a new trial.

Appeals vs. Trials

Appeals are very different from trials.  On appeal the primary focus is usually not on the facts of the case, but on the trial judge’s decisions.  This different focus requires different litigation skills.  The skills required to handle a trial are quite different from the skills required to handle an appeal.

An appeal is not an opportunity to present additional evidence.  In fact, no additional evidence will be allowed.  Also, most appeals do not directly challenge the jury’s decision as to guilt or innocence. Such appeals rarely succeed because appellate courts are required to presume that the jury’s decision was correct.  Most appeals challenge the jury’s decision, indirectly.  Instead of challenging the Jury’s decision, they challenge the trial judge’s decisions.  Usually, the contention on appeal is that the trial judge made an incorrect decision, and that that incorrect decision led to an incorrect decision by the jury.

To Appeal or Not to Appeal

In order to determine whether the trial judge made any mistakes that warrant a new trial or some other relief, it is necessary to thoroughly review of each of the trial judge’s decisions.  It is unlikely that the attorney who handled the trial will remember all of the decisions that the trial judge made throughout the life of the case.  So, a thorough review requires not only a review of the trial court’s file, but also a review of the transcripts of all of the hearings that have been held, and a careful review of the law.  This thorough review should be done whether the appeal will be handled by the trial attorney, or by an appellate attorney.

The deadline for filing the notice of appeal is typically 30 days, if the appeal is from a final judgment.  Usually, this is not enough time for a thorough review of the trial judge’s decisions because it usually takes more than 30 days to obtain the transcripts.  So sometimes it may be necessary to file a notice of appeal before a review of the trial judge’s decisions is complete.  The notice of appeal may be filed by the trial attorney even if an appellate attorney will be hired for the appeal.  If after a careful review the appellate attorney decides that an appeal is not warranted, the appeal may be dismissed voluntarily.

The Notice of Appeal

Typically, the notice of appeal must be filed in the trial court.  The trial court then forwards the notice to the appellate court where the case will be assigned to three judges who specialize in appeals.  After the notice of appeal is filed, the prosecutor usually forwards the case to another government attorney who specializes in appeals.

The Appellate Briefs

If the private appellate attorney determines that an appeal is warranted, he or she must explain why in an initial brief.  The government’s attorney will then have an opportunity to explain why an appeal is not warranted in an answer brief.  The private appellate attorney will then have an opportunity to file a reply brief.  Usually, after the reply brief is filed, no other briefs are allowed.

After all of the briefs have been filed, the appellate judges will decide whether or not they will give the attorneys an opportunity to present their arguments orally.  This usually depends on the complexity of the legal issues, and on whether the judges have any questions about the attorneys’ arguments.  But in most cases, the judges will make their decision without oral arguments.

The Appellate Court’s Decision

The appellate judges will usually explain their decision in a written “opinion.”  In some cases, the party that loses the appeal may appeal again to yet another appellate court.  If there is no further appeal, the case will be returned to the trial judge who handled the initial trial.  The government’s appellate attorney will also return the case to the prosecutor who handled the initial trial.  If the appellate court determined that the defendant is entitled to a new trial, the prosecutor may try the defendant again, or dismiss the case.

CPLS’ Appellate Attorneys

CPLS has experienced appellate attorneys.  They handle most types of appeals. If you are in need of an appellate attorney anywhere in the United States, please feel free to contact us.  You may reach us at (407) 647-7887 or toll free 877-647-7887.  We would be happy to assist you.

Military Appeals

The Military appeal lawyers at our law firm are experienced in criminal charges and courts martial proceedings. We will fight for your rights. Our law firm defends the legal rights of men and women in the armed forces.

We serve as defense counsel to members of the armed forces during criminal investigations and criminal trials. Our military lawyers have traveled the globe protecting clients in all types of criminal and court-martial cases.  We have international experience in providing legal counsel to clients charged with difficult crimes.  Connect with our appeals lawyers for your criminal defense 407-647-7887.

Appeals: Military Appeals Lawyers

We defend service men and women.  Our firm is called upon by clients across the United States and abroad to represent them before all military trial and appellate courts, including CAAF, Navy Appeals, Marine Appeals, Army Appeals, Air Force Appeals, and Coast Guard.

This legal counsel more popularly known as a military appeal lawyer or army appeals lawyer not only has experience in representing army members in criminal appeal cases but has a unique understanding of military law.

CPLS can provide you with that attorney. Our experienced group of appellate lawyers has a particular interest and skill in military law and is eager to assist in any way possible. Contact us today for more information in this regard.

Civil Appeals Process

The Civil Appeals Process

An appeal officially begins once one of the parties files a notice of appeal.  In some cases the notice of appeal should be filed in the trial court.  In other cases, it should be filed in the appellate court.  There is always a deadline for filing the notice of appeal.  The deadline varies.

Once the notice of appeal has been filed, the trial court’s file must be transmitted to the appellate court.  The appellant  (the party appealing) is then required to file an initial brief (written argument) explaining why he/she thinks the trial court’s decision was incorrect.  There is always a deadline for filing the initial Brief.  The deadline varies depending on the type of case, and on the court.

Once the initial brief has been filed, the opposing party may file an answer brief explaining why he thinks the trial court’s decision was correct.  There is always a deadline for filing the answer brief.  The deadline varies.

After the answer brief has been filed, the appellant may file a reply brief.  Again, there is always a deadline for filing the reply brief.  Again, the deadline varies.

Generally, no additional briefs are allowed, but the parties may request an opportunity to present their arguments orally.  Usually, the appellate court will not schedule oral arguments unless one of the parties requests it.

Once the appellate court has reviewed the case, it usually issues a written opinion explaining why the trial court was correct or incorrect, as the case may be.

Violent Crimes Appeals

Following a conviction or accepting a plea bargain for committing a violent crime, you may be facing a lengthy prison sentence, the possibility of no parole or even the death penalty. With so much at stake, and if you believe there were errors in how your case was handled, you need an attorney who has extensive experience handling appeals and post-conviction motions.

At CPLS, we understand the anxiety you may be facing if in this situation and looking for help. We take the time to answer questions, keep our clients updated and give each case personal attention throughout every step of the appeals process. From reviewing your case to researching the law and preparing a detailed brief, we work as a team to achieve your goals.

Law Firm Handling State and Federal Appeals

At CPLS, we bring more than 25 years of experience in the field of criminal law and procedure to every violent crime appeal and post-conviction motion we handle, including cases involving any type of street crime such as:

  • Murder, manslaughter, assault and battery
  • Rape or other sex crimes
  • Robbery or burglary
  • Weapons offenses

From analyzing if evidence was obtained and introduced properly, including wiretap and illegal search issues to questioning the sentence handed down, we are exhaustive in our approach.

Our violent crime appeals lawyers know how to analyze a case from both sides and can frame valid issues in anticipation of a challenge and careful scrutiny. We will fight hard to protect your rights and prove when those rights have been violated.

Contact CPLS

There are strict time limits concerning when you can file for an appeal. For a free confidential consultation with an experienced Florida violent crime appeals attorney, contact us online or call our office today at  407-647-7887.

Theft Offenses Appeals

Shoplifting may not sound like a serious conviction on your record, but any type of theft can make employers reluctant to hire or promote you, and anyone who runs a simple background check on you for a loan, scholarship, housing, adoption, etc., will see that you were convicted of stealing someone else’s property. And, if the value of the item you took exceeded a certain amount you may be convicted of a felony crime and be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and be subject to a fine of $15,000 or more for victim restitution.

Theft crimes generally encompass any crime where someone’s property is taken without permission with the “intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property.” Other crimes, including fraud, white-collar theft, and violent crimes (i.e., use of threat or a weapon during the commission of a theft crime) can add substantial penalties to a conviction.

Penalties for theft crimes involving property in Florida are found for the most part under larceny laws. Depending on the value of property stolen, an offender may face misdemeanor or felony charges, however, judges are allowed to use discretion when sentencing:

•Less than $200: Up to 93 days in jail; a fine of up to $500
•$200 to less than $1,000: Up to one year in jail; fines of up to $2,000
•$1,000 to less than $20,000: Up to five years in prison; fines of up to $10,000
•$20,000 and Over: Up to ten years in prison; fines of up to $15,000

The fines imposed upon sentencing for a theft crime may be up to three times the value of the property taken, if this is greater than the maximum fine that may otherwise be enforced.

Post-Conviction Options After a Misdemeanor or Felony Theft Crime Conviction

If you have been convicted of shoplifting, or any other type of property or theft crime, you may think you have lost your legal battle and there are no other options to consider. However, there may be more that an experienced appellate attorney can do to help you improve the outcome of your case. A few of the post-conviction options you may still have include:

•File a motion for a new trial.
•If your sentence or fine was excessive, you may be able to appeal your sentence.
•If you plead guilty and accepted a plea bargain that was not honored, you may be able to motion to withdraw or change your plea.
•If you received inadequate counsel and were found guilty as a result of ineffective counsel you may be able to file a motion for Ginther Hearing.
•If you served your time but your criminal record is holding you back, you may be able to have your record expunged.

Experienced Property and Theft Crime Post-Conviction Attorneys

We are experienced trial lawyers and appellate lawyers. We know how to review court records to see if any of your rights were violated during the trial or sentencing process. If you were found guilty for a crime you did not commit because of ineffective counsel, juror misconduct or bias, or because of something the judge did or failed to do, we may be able to help you.

We offer a wide variety of post-conviction services, including:

  • Appeal by Application for Leave
  • Appeal of Right
  • Applying to the Court for Probation
  • Conviction Set Aside/Record Expungement
  • Federal Appeals
  • Grounds for a Motion for a New Trial
  • Florida Criminal Sentence Appeals
  • Florida Supreme Court Appeals
  • Motion for Directed Verdict
  • Motion for Ginther Hearing – Ineffective Counsel
  • Motion to Change or Withdraw a Plea
  • Other Motions and Appeals
  • Post-Conviction and Pre-Sentencing Motions

When you hire the law firm of CPLS, you can count on a thorough investigation into your case and aggressive post-conviction representation to help you improve the outcome of your case.

We offer a free initial consultation. Email our post-conviction services and appeals attorneys or call us at  1-407-647-7887. The statute of limitations is extremely short for filing motions and appeals. The sooner you call, the better your chances are of ensuring you can pursue all your legal options.

Immigration Appeals

At CPLS, our immigration appeals attorneys represent immigrants and organizations before a variety of immigration appellate forums including the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) as well as the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”). Frequently, our clients seek guidance on what to do when an immigration case is denied. When determining how to properly respond to an immigration denial decision there are frequently a number of potential options that must be explored thoroughly before the best possible avenue for success can be selected. Whether you need to appeal a denial of an immigration decision by USCIS or the denial of a deportation case by an Immigration Judge our experienced immigration lawyers for immigration appeals can assist you in challenging the decision.

Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals

If an immigration court denies your case, you have the right to appeal that decision. At CPLS, our team of experienced immigration appellate attorneys can assist with the threshold determination of whether the decision of an immigration judge is ripe for appeal. A local immigration judge’s decision is not always correct, and it is critical that you obtain prompt, sound analysis and advice regarding your case. While an appeal is an important right that can result in victory, that right is subject to strict deadlines and filing requirements. Accordingly, you should consult an attorney to ensure you do not jeopardize your rights. For example, in most appeals you must file your notice of appeal within 30 days after the lower court decision.

At CPLS, we can ensure your notice of appeal is filed on a timely basis with the BIA. During the next stage of an appeal our team of immigration appellate lawyers prepare a detailed and thorough written argument supporting your case. Since there are rarely any hearings or oral arguments during the appeal before the BIA, the written arguments we prepare for you are the best chance to persuade the BIA that the local immigration judge incorrectly decided your case. Even if your case has been denied by the BIA, our attorneys also litigate immigration cases before federal appellate courts.

Appeals to the AAO

It is also possible to appeal certain denials of petitions filed with USCIS with the AAO. Alternatively, it may be possible to file an appeal to the BIA or a Motion to Reopen or Motion to Reconsider concerning denials of requests of other immigration benefits before USCIS. If you have received a denial of a requested immigration benefit, you may wish to contact the immigration appeals lawyers of CPLS to determine if an appeal to the AAO may be beneficial. If you are eligible for an appeal to the AAO, CPLS will diligently file an application for appeal and prepare the requisite brief in support of your argument seeking reversal.

At CPLS, we are dedicated to providing you that chance of help to obtain a better result. If you have a question or consultation regarding an appeal contact us immediately. Time is critical in appeals cases so do not delay.  407-647-7887

Fraud Offenses Appeals

The fraud appeal attorneys of the CPLS Law firm are here to help you make sure you are treated fairly and justly in a court of law. Are you dealing with fraud issues? The Fraud Appeal Attorneys of CPLS Law are glad to help you with any sort issues that you might be encountering. We are more than willing to help you with any appeals or conspiracy. In addition, CPLS Law is ready to help you with all types of fraud, over billing, improper billing, false claims, improper coding practices, claims adjudication fraud, accepting kickbacks, over-billing, fraud violations and even internet violations. Contact our criminal appeals attorneys at 407-647-7887.