Law is complicated, integrity is not

Dublin Appeals Lawyer

Overturning an Unsatisfactory Decision from the Trial Court

If a trial court has convicted you, the matter can still be debated in the appeals process. Sometimes a court case will pan out as you and your attorney hoped; other times, you may have to overturn a less than satisfactory conviction of guilty in an appeal. Not all attorneys handle their own appeals, but Attorney Ryan Smith of RLS Criminal Defense takes care of all his own appeals for his clients as well as writs. Having worked on your initial case, he can better prepare for an appeal and provide the honest and trustworthy legal counsel you need to feel confident about your case. He will also communicate transparently with you, not sugar-coating any of your legal options or potential outcomes.

When you are trying to overturn a trial court’s decision, you should work with a lawyer who will tell you the honest truth. Schedule a free consultation with RLS Criminal Defense today.

The Appeals Process

An appeal is a legal process of requesting a higher court to reevaluate the decision of the trial court with the possibility of overturning the initial decision. The appeals process begins with a Notice of Appeal that should be filed immediately after a judge enters a conviction, and it involves filing a brief with the appeals court detailing the reasons for overturning the ruling. Keep in mind that no new evidence can be brought in for consideration during an appeal; the appeals process mainly focuses on how the trial court may have misapplied the law leading to an improper verdict.

Not every request for appeal will be accepted. In order for a higher court to consider an appeal legitimate for consideration, the appeal must involve one of the following:

  • Improper use of evidence – the evidence used to convict the individual was not legally obtained and should not have been admissible in court;
  • Insufficient evidence – there was not enough evidence for a conviction, but the jury moved forward anyway
  • False arrest – law enforcement did not have probable cause to arrest the offender or did not have a valid arrest warrant; this may also be if law enforcement did not follow proper search and seizure laws, violating your rights
  • Prosecutorial misconduct – a prosecutor pursued dishonest methods for securing a conviction, such as including inadmissible evidence they knew to be invalid, intentionally misstating the law, or expressly appealing to a judge’s prejudices
  • Jury misconduct – jurors acted in dishonest ways, such as conducting their own personal investigation outside of the trial, taking bribes for their votes, or purposely concealing relevant information that damages their ability to be impartial
  • Erroneous sentencing – a judge handed out an inappropriate sentence or did not explain their reasons behind the sentence

If the defendant’s trial or conviction involved one of the above, they can move forward with the appeals process by submitting an appeal after the final judgment, prepare their argument for appeal (prove that there was a form of injustice or misconduct in the trial), present their briefs and oral argument, and receive the appellate court’s decision.

Getting a Writ

RLS Criminal Defense also handles writs as well as appeals. Writs are similar to appeals in that they request a higher court to review a legal matter, and the process for writs is usually must faster than for appeals. More specifically, a writ is a formal written order a defendant can use to ask a higher court to reconsider the legal issues involved in their initial trial. A defendant may also file a writ to argue issues they were otherwise unable to in an appeal.

There are many different types of writs a person can use depending on the situation. A writ of habeas corpus, for example, can be used to contest unlawful imprisonment (which an appeal does not do). It is best to consult a lawyer before considering a writ, as writs make claims about a broader legal issue relevant in the case rather than the unique case itself. 

If you have received an unsatisfactory decision from the trial court, you have the right to appeal the decision or otherwise request a higher court to reevaluate the legal issues resulting from the case with a writ. Not all lawyers work on their own appeals, but RLS Criminal Defense does. It can prove uniquely advantageous to have the same lawyer from your initial trial to strategize your appeal, as they will have a deeper understanding of both your case and why it turned out the way it did. Attorney Ryan Smith can take a look at your situation and help you determine whether you should pursue an appeal or a writ to reverse an unfair judgment.

Schedule a free consultation with RLS Criminal Defense to get started. Serving clients in Alameda, San Joaquin, and Contra Costa Counties.

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