After a criminal conviction, many people feel like their life as they know it is over. They'll be branded a criminal and may have to spend time behind bars. However, there are a number of ways someone convicted of a crime can appeal their criminal conviction or sentence. This could result in having your criminal conviction overturned so you can return to your normal life without a criminal record.
If your or a loved one is facing a criminal conviction or has already been convicted of a crime in Alabama, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Alabama Criminal Appeals
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals hears appeals of criminal court decisions, including felony and misdemeanor offenses. While your initial criminal case may have been decided by a jury, appeals are decided by a panel of judges. These judges are generally elected to the appeals court through statewide elections for a 6-year term.
For criminal cases in the Circuit Court, most appeals need to be filed within 42 days after sentencing. District court misdemeanor cases may only allow 14 days for an appeal from the date of sentencing. It is imperative to file the appeal in time or the court may not be able to hear your case. There may be other deadlines that could impact your ability to file an appeal. Talk to your Alabama criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to make sure your chance to have your conviction overturned is not denied.
Appeals are different than criminal trials. The judges do not hear the case all over again. Instead, the appellate court only reviews limited decisions of the lower court. The appellate judges decide whether the lower court made an error which can reverse the lower court's decision, or to uphold the lower court's decision.
Finding a Lawyer to Handle Your Appeal
If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed to you to defend you in your criminal case. Similarly, in most cases, you have a right to an attorney for a first criminal appeal if you cannot afford one.
Whether you have a public defender or a private criminal defense attorney, many defendants do not want to have their criminal defense lawyer represent them during the appeal. The defendant may feel like their attorney did not fight hard enough to defend them and want a new attorney to file the appeal. In some cases, problems with your trial attorney may be the basis for appealing your conviction. This is known as a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel.
Experienced Northern Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney
John Allen understands the importance of avoiding a criminal conviction. If you have lost your case at trial, you still have a chance to have your conviction reversed or seek a new trial. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, John Allen knows how to fight for his clients, from the beginning all the way to the end. Contact Huntsville criminal defense lawyer John Allen today.