You want to right the injustice that was done to you at trial, and you want to be treated fairly. You may not care how the trial court error is fixed, as long as you don’t pay the price of an unfair criminal conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have the right to file an appeal.
Do You Have a Reason to Appeal in Your Criminal Case?
You can’t file an appeal simply because you don’t like the outcome of your case. However, you can file an appeal if one or more of the following fundamental errors occurred in your criminal case:
- Evidence was inappropriately admitted or excluded in the case. Evidence that was admitted or excluded in violation of the rules of evidence could have impacted the trial court’s decision in your case.
- The jury instructions were incorrect. Improper jury instructions can violate your right to due process.
- There was a lack of evidence to support the verdict. You should only be convicted if there is sufficient evidence to support each element of your crime.
- There was jury misconduct. Examples of jury misconduct include improper communication among jury members, alcohol or drug use during trial or jury deliberations, or other inappropriate activity.
- There was bias in jury selection. You have a constitutional right to an impartial jury. Certain rules must be followed when choosing a jury. If those rules are violated, it could fundamentally impact the outcome of your case.
- Your lawyer provided inadequate legal representation. If the outcome of your case might have been different if you had had effective counsel, you may have grounds for appeal.
- The prosecutor acted unethically or made errors. It is up to the court of appeals to decide if these mistakes led to an unfair conviction.
- The judge made mistakes in pretrial rulings or at trial. Judges are professionals, but sometimes, they make mistakes. If a judge’s mistake led to your conviction, it could be a fundamental error in your case.
- Due process violations. If the required procedures were not followed, your due process rights might have been violated, and you may appeal.