An appeal is basically a call for a higher court to review a decision made by a lower court. However, it must be remembered that an appeal is not a retrial. Your team cannot add new facts or other kinds of evidence in your case.
The appeal system was put into place in order to enforce the right of the losing party to a fair trial. This means that the losing party does not automatically have the right of appeal just because they did not like the verdict. The court only grants an appeal if they find a legal basis for it such as technical, procedural, or material factual errors in the trial.
The Process of an Appeal
It should be made clear that what an appeal gives is an affirmation or a reversal of the lower court’s decision. If you submit an appeal, you are implying that the court made an error in the initial decision, and you need the higher court to pay further scrutiny as to how your case was handled. If the higher court finds merit in your appeal, your case can be eliminated, and all the penalties that come with it will be negated as well.
To know how an appeal works, here are the steps that you should take to process an appeal from start to finish:
- Initiate the appeal by filing a notice of appeal
Before you formally file an appeal to the court, you need to initiate it first. This means that you have to gather all facts and information related to your case, like transcripts, testimonies, and sensitive documents.
Apart from gathering data, you need to file a notice of appeal to the court as well. This notice alerts the opposing party and the court that you mean to challenge the verdict given.
- Proceed with filing the appeal to the court
After filing the notice of appeal, the defendant must start preparing his or her brief. This is a document that clarifies your position on the case from a legal standpoint. Together with your gathered documents such as transcripts and testimonies, you must submit your brief to the appellate court within the state’s imposed time limit.
What You Should Know About Briefs
Briefs cannot be written just by anyone. As this document requires sophisticated writing style and technique, you need to seek the help of people with experience in this type of undertaking. The rules of drafting briefs are rigid and specific. If you fail to exhaustively and effectively write a brief, your appeal can be thrown out as quickly as you have filed them.
Approach Experienced Criminal Lawyers if You Want to Have a Successful Appeal
If you think that your case has been mishandled, you have the right of appeal on your side. You can use this to your advantage, as long as you have capable people at your side.
Criminal lawyers and appellate lawyers have the required skills and capabilities to help you run your appeal from start to finish. If you want to have the best kind of assistance and advice for your appeal, it would be wise for you to approach experienced law advisors in your area.
Written by The VanMatre Law Firm, one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Columbia, MO.