How Defendants can Appeal Trial Rulings
After a trial, a defendant and their legal attorney can file for an appeal to have the case reviewed and possibly changed by a higher court.
Typically, post trial motions filed by criminal lawyers or appeals attorneys and their defendants to alter judgements or prompt a new trial are unsuccessful. Most defendants looking to overturn a guilty verdict find an appeal lawyer and bring it to a higher court. They can choose to challenge the conviction or make an appeal to change the sentence while letting the conviction stand.
It can be difficult for even the best law firms for appeals to succeed in an appeal case. Many appeals judges are reluctant to overrule judgements from a trial court, since defendants aren’t guaranteed perfect trials. However, appalate attorneys may stand a chance if there was a significant error of law on the part of the trial court that led to the undesirable outcome.
If the error can be considered harmless (which many are), it’s unlikely that the lawyer will be able to get the conviction reversed. But if there’s a severe issue like the use of a coerced confession or some other form of unlawful evidence, an appeals court may overturn the ruling.
Sentences will very rarely be overturned, unless the law dictates a particular sentence and the judge issues an incorrect sentence. In this instance, the appeals judge may send the case back to be resentenced.
When pursuing an appeal, it’s usually best to look at law firms for appeals rather than sticking with the trial lawyer. Typically, criminal lawyers specialize in appeals or trials, not both, and lawyers with law firms for appeals have specialized knowledge that trial lawyers don’t have. It can also be helpful for a new pair of eyes to look at the case and see what went wrong the first time.