If you are convicted of criminal activity, such as a white-collar crime or a drug crime, you may not necessarily agree with the jury's verdict or with the judge's sentence. In this situation, filing an appeal is generally your only option.
The court system is currently clogged with appeals for vacating convictions and reducing sentences. For this reason, having an applied understanding of the law is critical for increasing your chances of winning your criminal appeal.
What is an appeal?
Appeals are petitions made to higher courts to overturn lower courts' rulings. In your criminal case, an appeal offers a detailed look at what took place in trial court. You may choose to focus only on the sentencing part or on the conviction itself. For instance, if you are convicted of embezzlement and face a sentence that stretches beyond the law's limit, you will appeal only the prison term, thus leaving the embezzlement conviction intact.
How can an attorney help me with an appeal?
For an appeal, an attorney will investigate your case, perform research and diligently review your records to identify any issues that merit action -- either a brand-new trial, a reduced sentence or a reversed conviction. A strong understanding of the law is necessary to complete the appeal process successfully in the state of Ohio.
What is habeas corpus, and is it different from an appeal?
Habeas corpus is a special aspect of the criminal law field. Habeas corpus involves performing an investigation of a case following a trial or sentence, but different rules govern habeas corpus and appeal filings in the state court system. Likewise, different rules and time limits govern these processes in the federal court system.
Areas that may necessitate litigation following a conviction include the following:
- Trial court rulings that do not comply with precedent that is well established
- Police misconduct
- Prosecutor misconduct
- Ineffective help of the trial counsel
- Evidence that is newly discovered
If you feel you have received an unfair sentence or inappropriate conviction, thus unjustly depriving you of your future, you have the right to challenge this in Ohio through the criminal appeal or habeas corpus process. A qualified attorney will push for the most favorable outcome for you considering the circumstances surrounding your case and will make sure that your rights remain protected each step of the way.