WHAT IS A CRIMINAL APPEAL?
A criminal appeal occurs when a defendant is unsatisfied with the results of their trial after their case has been tried. The results that they are dissatisfied with can include the conviction, the sentence, or the results of their pretrial. If you or someone you know is dissatisfied with an outcome of their trial, then it is pertinent that they consult with an attorney well versed in criminal appeal and appellate motions as soon as possible to avoid any statutes of limitations from preventing a criminal appeal.
TYPES OF ISSUES IN A CRIMINAL APPEAL
Criminal Appeal for Ineffective assistance of defense counsel
The Supreme Court has held that every individual has the right to not only counsel but to an effective counsel.
- Strickland v. Washington: in this criminal appeal it was shown that in order to prove ineffective assistance a defendant has to prove that the trial lawyer’s performance fell below “an objective standard of reasonableness” and that there was “a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different”.
- Missouri v. Frye: Frye was charged with driving a revoked license and he had been convicted of the same offense three times before. Because of this fact, Missouri charged him with a felony that came with a maximum prison sentence of 4 years. He was sent a letter from the prosecutor offering him two different plea options, but he never got the letters and was never verbally informed of his options either. Frye appealed his conviction because of the lack of communication between his defense counsel and himself arguing that if he had been given the options he would have taken them. In this criminal appeal, Missouri appellate court reversed his motion stating that he had met both the conditions established under Strickland v. Washinton.
- Lafler v. Cooper: Cooper was charged under Michigan law with assault with the intent to murder and three other offenses. The prosecutor offered to dismiss two charges and recommend a 51 to 85 month sentence on the other two. The defendant admitted his guilt in a communication with the court but rejected the offer because his defense attorney convinced him that the prosecution wouldn’t be able to prove intent. When the defendant was convicted on all counts, he appealed his conviction on the grounds that he believed his defense attorney misled him and if he had known all the facts, he would have taken the plea.
Criminal Appeal for Juror Misconduct During a Jury Trial
Juror misconduct is the basis for a criminal appeal and occurs when a member or members of the jury violate the law of the court. This misconduct can occur when the court is in session or after it has reached a verdict. Examples of juror misconduct include: if a juror speaks to someone outside of the jury about the facts of the case, if they speak to a fellow juror about the case when the rest of the jury is not present, if they refuse to deliberate, if they conduct their own investigation of the facts, and if they willfully hide their personal beliefs and/or experiences that could influence the rest of the jury.
- People v. Lomax: The defendant believed that the court had improperly dismissed a juror during the penalty phase of the trial. This juror had consistently stated that he was against the death penalty and had refused to deliberate with the other jurors. When the court dismissed the juror, Lomax believed that he had been deprived of his constitutional rights and that the court had abused its discretion in questioning the other jurors about the dismissed juror’s conduct. The defendant received an automatic appeal from his death sentence.
Criminal Appeal for Motion for New Trial
If a jury was flawed in some way or if the jury or trial was manipulated or corrupted in any way, then the method for remedying that mistake is a motion for new trial. If, after the trial, the defendant discovery jury misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, that a trial record has been lost or destroyed, an error of law by the court, new evidence that would assist in their defense, or that there was insufficient evidence then they may want to file a motion for a new trial.
If you are convicted of a deportable crime and are not a U.S. Citizen, then you can be deported or face other consequences to your immigration status. It might be possible to petition a court to modify or vacate the conviction, allowing you to stay in the country. Some forms of post-conviction relief are a motion to overturn the conviction because of ineffective assistance of counsel, a motion for resentencing to avoid a conviction for an aggravate felony, reducing a conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor, a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest because you weren’t warned of the possible deportation or immigration issues, a motion to withdraw the plea for other reasons, and a habeas corpus petition.
Writs of Habeas Corpus
A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate that requires a prison official to being the inmate to court so it can be determined whether the inmate is lawfully imprisoned and whether or not they should be released from custody. The petition must show the court that ordered he imprisonment made some sort of legal or factual error.
READY TO FILE YOUR CRIMINAL APPEAL
If you or a loved one is considering filing a criminal appeal or a writ of habeas corpus, you need an aggressive criminal attorney who handles criminal appeals on your side. With offices in Costa Mesa, we serve people throughout Southern California, including in Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Los Angeles. Call (855) 505-5588 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.