The criminal justice system does not always work fairly. Prosecutors and judges can act unethically and people can make the wrong decision. If you have a criminal conviction but need a second chance at justice, there are avenues that you can take to appeal the decision.
In California, you have a right to an appeal. To qualify for an appeal, you must apply within 30 days of a misdemeanor conviction and 60 for a felony conviction. If you miss the deadline the court may dismiss the appeal.
What is an appeal?
The point of the appellate court is to determine if a legal error occurred during your case. The court will look for errors in the testimony or exhibits. Appellate courts do not have the right to decide the case’s facts. You can appeal based on two factors: a legal mistake or the prosecution did not have substantial evidence.
What do you bring to the appeal?
Your appeal is not a new trial. When you file a Notice of Appeal, you do not need to bring forward new evidence for your case. Instead, the appellate court can only look at the evidence you presented at trial.
If you say there were mistakes in your case, the appellate court will listen to both sides. However, if you claim that the evidence could not justify the verdict, the court will review the record and evidence to determine if the evidence supports the judgment.
In addition to convictions, you may also have the right to appeal plea or probation violations.