Being charged with a criminal offense is an intimidating experience and what follows the initial charging can be even more daunting. Nothing about the criminal justice system is more intimidating, however, than being convicted of a criminal offense and going through the appeals process.
By that point, you have likely been incarcerated, the time between sentencing and an appellate hearing is lengthy, and it is more difficult to remain optimistic.
When you are facing so much unfamiliarity, it is important that you have someone by your side that can explain the process, explain the possible outcomes, even when it is not positive, and that will work to get your conviction reversed. A skilled Michigan criminal appeals attorney will help you through the process while protecting your legal rights. To discuss the legal options available to you consult with a defense attorney in Michigan today.
There are two types of criminal appeals in Michigan. When a person is convicted of a criminal offense, she or he has the right to ask an appellate court to review the case. This is known as an appeal by right.
An appeal by leave is an appeal that requires the permission of the circuit court before it is heard. This appeal is necessary when the defendant in a criminal trial pled guilty or the party is time barred from appealing, among other reasons.
In either type of appeal, the court will not accept an appeal solely because the appellant disagrees with the decision of the lower court. There has to be an allegation that there was a legal error, which impacted the decision made by the judge or jury. Legal errors include the judge not accurately applying the law, evidence being wrongly excluded, and procedural errors, among others. A Michigan appeals attorney can help determine which may apply to your case.
The party that submits the appeal is the appellant. She or he is the party that has the burden of proof during the appeal process. The appellee is the responding party. Even if the state has the burden of proof in the original trial, if the defendant from the first trial submits an appeal, the burden is on that party to establish that an error exists.
Once a party is permitted to submit an appeal, the court does not review new evidence, except in rare cases. The court reviews the record, which includes the trial transcripts and any documents or physical item that was marked as evidence in the trial court.
The appellant submits a written argument alleging the error that she or believes exists. The appellee also submits a written statement to the court either stating that no error exists or acknowledging that an error exists, but arguing that the error is harmless.
After the state’s prosecutor submits a brief, the appellant may be given an opportunity to respond. After the response, the court will decide if the appellant and the appellee will be permitted to make oral arguments in court. Oral arguments differ from trial court.
An attorney that represents a defendant during a criminal trial may not be the best option, when there is a need to appeal. The difference between a criminal trial and a criminal appeal is extreme enough that even experienced criminal defense attorneys can feel overwhelmed.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a criminal matter and intend to appeal, do not delay in contacting a skilled Michigan appellate criminal lawyer for the best result.