Following a conviction in a criminal court case, you have the right to file an appeal. Even though you lost the original court battle, there is still a possibility that you could win your case in the appellate court. If you are planning to appeal a conviction, here are some tips for staging the appeal.
Review the Court Transcripts
During the trial, it can be difficult to keep up with everything that happens. Even your attorney could miss an exchange between the prosecutor and witness. However, there is one person in the court who captured every word uttered in court. The court reporter is responsible for recording and transcribing everything said in court.
You can obtain a copy of the transcript from your court hearing. Depending on the court reporting service used, you might have to pay a fee, but it is worth it. Once you have the transcript, you can review the entire trial and look for testimony that could be useful to your appeal efforts. Talk to a court reporting service like Farrell Court Reporting to get information on how to request a copy of your transcript.
Create an Appeal Plan
As you review the court transcript and evidence from your case, you need to consider which legal theories can be used to argue your appeal. Unless you have legal experience, work with your attorney to identify the theories that would work for you.
For instance, you and your attorney could argue that the prosecutor did not meet the burden of proof. If your case required expert testimony to back the prosecutor's case, and he or she did not call on an expert, your attorney could claim that the prosecutor did not do enough to help the jury understand the details of the case. As a result, the decision that the jury reached was not based on all the facts.
Submit an Opening Brief
Once you and your attorney have decided on which grounds you plan to appeal, you have to submit an opening brief to the appellate court. In the brief, you must provide evidence as to why your case should be reviewed.
While waiting for a decision from the court, it is important that you and your attorney continue to work on your case. In the event that the court decides in your favor, you could be granted a new trial.
The appeals process can take time and effort. Working with professionals, such as your attorney and the court reporter, can help you get what you need to build your case.