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Right to a fair trial: Understanding the Oregon appeals process

The criminal appeals process in Oregon is somewhat complex and can be facilitated by partnering with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

People who have been convicted of a crime in Oregon should not give up. Oregon residents have the right to appeal the final outcome of their trial case through the appellate court and in some cases, they may be granted a retrial. If the appellate court feels that the defendant's right to a fair trial has been compromised in any way, including evidence tampering, illegal gathering of evidence or a bad ruling from the judge, they can order the case to be retried in an Oregon court of law.

Who handles appeals cases in Oregon?

According to Oregon Courts, the state has two courts that handle the appeals process, the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals reviews cases that come from trial courts, while the Oregon Supreme Court usually reviews cases that have already gone through the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is in charge of reviewing all death penalty cases as well. Tax court cases also bypass the Court of Appeals and go straight to the Supreme Court.

The Oregon appeals process

Once a case has been brought to the Oregon Court of Appeals, a panel of judges carefully examines and evaluates the trial record for any disparities, errors or improper legal proceedings that may have affected the final outcome of the case, according to the Oregon Courts. The judges will also look at any written briefs and listen to oral arguments that describe where the error was thought to have occurred. The judges will not, however, review testimony or look at the factual details of the actual crime. They are purely interested in whether or not the trial procedure was carried out properly.

Once the panel reaches a decision through the criminal appeals process, one judge will create an opinion explaining why the panel decided to agree or disagree with the appeal. The drafted opinion is then reviewed by the Chief Judge who opens it for comments from all other judges before it is finalized. If either party does not agree with the decision reached by the Court of Appeals, they can take the case to the Oregon Supreme Court for review.

The importance of legal representation

People who have been charged with a serious criminal offense may be overwhelmed with the legal process as well as the potential penalties they may face if they are found guilty. It is essential to partner with a knowledgeable attorney who has a thorough understanding of the judicial and appeals process in Oregon. Not only can an attorney explain all of your options to you, but they can walk you through the legal process looking after your best interests along the way.

Keywords: criminal defense, appeals