Those convicted of a crime in Oregon may wonder what the next step is in the criminal defense process. Many people choose to appeal the final judgment in a lower court to the next higher court. This first appeal is a right guaranteed in the Constitution, and those who choose to appeal are entitled to an attorney.
The laws governing appeals vary from state to state. The Federal appeals process also differs from the state appeals process. In most cases, a case can only be appealed to a higher court once. Smaller states may only have two levels of courts and larger states may have as many as four. Upon hearing an appeal, the appellate court may choose to overturn part or all of the verdict. They may also grant a motion for a re-trial in which the prosecution would need to re-try the case against the defendant once again.
To appeal a conviction, a criminal defense lawyer files a notice of the appeal and an appellate brief with a higher court. These must be filed within a timely manner, or the court can’t adjudicate the case. The appellate brief is a document that is written by the attorney. It describes why the verdict reached by the lower court was wrong. The appellate court will then make its decision.
Those convicted of a crime often appeal a case to try to get the verdict overturned. Filing an appeal is the best way to have a case re-tried if it wasn’t tried correctly the first time. For example, some of the evidence presented may have been obtained illegally without a warrant. A criminal justice lawyer might file an appeal stating that there was a mistake in the gathering of evidence. If the higher court rules that the evidence was inadmissible, the verdict may be overturned, or a re-trial might be granted.