Once a conviction is entered, a defendant has several legal avenues to challenge the conviction. An experienced Georgia criminal appeals attorney has years of experience navigating complex appeals and post-conviction remedies.
The appeals process is not a new trial. It is a request for an appellate court to review the original trial record for errors and, if found, overturn or reduce the conviction.
Grounds for Appeal
Following a conviction in Georgia, there is generally only a short window of time for a party to appeal. This makes it even more important to have a lawyer that specializes in criminal appeals. When choosing an attorney, look up their case results and reviews online. Numerous credible sources, such as AVVO, can help you understand a lawyer’s background and experience.
In general, you can appeal on the basis that the trial court made a serious error in law or procedure, or that evidence was improperly introduced into the case. In addition, an appeal can be based on new evidence that has been recently obtained and would have changed the outcome of the original trial.
When an appeal is filed, the justices in the Court of Appeals will listen to arguments from both sides and then issue a written opinion within months. For most crimes, the initial appeal is to this court, with exceptions for murder cases and constitutional challenges that go directly to the Supreme Court.
Motion for New Trial
Depending on the circumstances of your case, our office may submit a motion for new trial. The court of appeals will review your case as though it is a brand-new trial and decide whether to grant the motion based on various grounds.
These include the discovery of new evidence or documents that could shift the momentum of your trial, or the existence of other inadmissible evidence such as coerced testimony. Ineffective assistance of counsel is another grounds for an appeal if your original trial attorney failed to meet certain standards that would give you a fair chance at winning.
Our Georgia criminal appeals lawyer will submit a written statement to the appellate court explaining why your conviction should be overturned. The justices of the court might also call us in to present oral arguments if they feel it is necessary. Brandon Bullard has a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and the laws and procedures that apply to appellate cases.
If you can prove that there were errors in your original trial, a direct appeal is possible. A criminal appeals attorney will review your case, identify any errors, and frame them into a successful argument for the appellate court.
During a direct appeal, you do not present new evidence, but instead submit a written statement (referred to as a brief) describing the mistakes that occurred during your trial. The justices of the appellate court will read your brief, listen to both parties’ oral arguments, and decide on whether or not to reverse or remand the original decision.
It is critical to have an experienced criminal appeals lawyer working on your behalf. There is a narrow window of opportunity to file your appeal, and your attorney can help ensure that you do not miss this deadline. If your appeal is not filed within thirty days, you forfeit your right to do so. If your conviction is affirmed on appeal, you have the option of filing a petition for discretionary review with the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Even after a verdict in your state criminal case, you can continue to fight for justice through the appeals process. This process entails requesting appellate court justices to review your trial records and determine whether egregious legal errors affected the outcome of your case.
These legal challenges could include improperly admitted evidence, ineffective assistance of counsel and misapplied laws. If the justices identify a significant error, they can reverse the original ruling or send your case back to the trial court for a retrial.
In addition, if you believe your conviction was based on newly discovered evidence, your Atlanta criminal appeals attorney can file a habeas corpus petition on your behalf. This type of petition seeks to establish that you are being held illegally. It could result in your release from prison or other forms of confinement. Our office has extensive experience in obtaining post-conviction relief.