The Definition of Appeal
An appeal refers to a request to a higher court to reexamine and if possible, revoke the decision of the lower court. An appeal is done to ask the higher court to review and determine if the trial court committed erroneous that can acquit the conviction. Most requests for judgment reversal or new trial are declined but the defendant still has hope of reversing the trial court’s decision by filing an appeal.
When an appeal is done, the defendant may opt to raise a formal objection against the trial decision, pre-trial motions ruling, sentencing decision, and even the conviction itself.
Records and transcripts from the lower court will support the appeal’s outcome. The Appellate Court will base its decision by deliberate examination of the things which transpired in the lower court and of the arguments presented before the Appellate Court. The court will only look out for procedural and constitutional mistakes which happened during the trial.
Criminal convictions without life sentences must direct their appeals using the Fast Track process. The appeal must not exceed 15 pages and it must contain all petitions of the appellant which will be presented before the Court. In some cases, the Court will request the appealing party to explain further the pertinent issues presented.
The Fast Track process may not be employed by a defendant convicted of a life sentence. In such case, an extensive and full-brief appeal must be filed.
Writing an appeal should be given the fullest thought and concern. An appellate lawyer should review the legal documents, witness testimonies, judge’s ruling, and other significant matters which took place in the jury trial. A comprehensive review must be done by the lawyer in order to not miss anything that can be a relevant basis for the appeal. Matters that have not been raised in the appeal will be permanently forfeited and may not be used by the defendant. This explains why an appellate attorney is needed so that all the issues will be covered and checked for possible errors or ambiguities. Failing to address those issues may waive your right to present them again.
The Appellate Court of Nevada
All Appellate Courts uses strict standards to determine if the district court judge enforced a correct observance of law in the case. The Appellate Court does not take heed of testimonies or even retrial a case. The outcome of the appeal will be established from the trial or court proceeding’s written record. The Appellate Court commonly reviews claims such as:
- Incorrect rulings on admissibility of evidence
- Incorrect application of a law
- Incorrect application of a regulation
- Improper jury instructions
- Insufficient evidence to support the verdict
To commence the appeals process, a written notice of appeal should be filed and presented to the clerk of the court wherein the legal proceedings happened. It is strictly implemented that a defendant must file a notice of appeal within 30 days to the District Court Clerk. After the given time, no appeals will be accepted anymore.
After the official filing of appeal, the transcripts and other recorded copies of the proceedings will be prepared. All involved parties will be informed after the complete filing of record with the Appellate Court.
Starting from the date the record was filed, the appellate will be given enough time to file an opening brief. The period usually takes 120 days or within four months.
The opening brief is a written argument specially prepared and forwarded by the attorney to the court. The brief elaborates the desired matters of the appellant as well as contradictions to the rulings or findings of the District Court.
Once the opening brief’s issues have reached its designated recipient, the recipient can respond by filing an answering brief. Again, the appellant may file a reply brief.
There are also instances wherein a panel of justices will allow both parties to narrate oral arguments. One of the panels will then prepare a decision which usually comes in the form of a written statement.
In olden times, “writ” means any letter formally written by a attorney but in modern law terminology, a writ refers to an issued order from the higher court aimed for a lower court or to an authorized government officials, for example, a prison warden.
Defendants are given opportunities to search for possible relevant writs from appellate judges meant for a trial court or a lower appellate court. Writs have many intricate elements but like appeals, they also require a detailed and meticulous record review. It is a wise decision to consult a lawyer to know the possibilities of taking writs.
Las Vegas Post Conviction Relief: Writ of Habeas Corpus
Writ of Habeas Corpus means challenging the validity of penalties or sentences given to the accused.
A writ of habeas corpus is a legal court order addressed to a person or an institution currently holding someone in detainment. Upon issuance of the order, the imprisoned individuals must be delivered to the court for a series of due processes.
Writs of habeas corpus are provided in many state constitutions primarily for the reason that the United States Constitution prohibits the government from declining writ proceedings except under special conditions.
The writ of habeas corpus then allows jailed defendants for a release from imprisonment. By the means of a writ, it can be ensured that individuals won’t be put behind bars for a long time.
Writ Versus Appeal
Writs usually provide relief for special cases wherein the defendant is apparently not allowed to raise an appeal. A defendant may draft a writ if he does not have consent to propose an appeal to the court.
However, there is a general rule that writs can only be applied to matters that are unclearly manifested in the record of the case itself. In a writ, the defendant may bring a formal complaint that he did not receive his 6th amendment right to useful counsel assistance. If the defendant feels that his counsel was unproductive and did not exert fairness and sensibility, then he may draft a writ.
Any of the listed examples may rule out an appeal and instead justify a writ:
- The defense mistakenly wasn’t able to file a formal charge at the time of the alleged injustice.
- A final judgment has not been registered formally in the trial court but the party seeking the writ needs reprieve at once to prevent forms of injustice or deviation from rights.
- The matter needs utmost urgency (Writs are given more urgency than appeals, so defendants who feel aggrieved by actions of the trial judge may opt for writ to attain immediate assistance).
- The defendant has already filed an unsuccessful appeal (defendants may file multiple writs but may only file a single appeal). It must be remembered that one should not file a writ greatly resembling the unsuccessful appeal because the writ will be dismissed right away.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Both appeal and post-conviction writ are greatly beneficial to an accused individual. They open possibilities for useful defenses which can provide relief to convicted persons. However, the process of drafting and filing a appeal and post-conviction writ is a confusing and technical process for someone who does not have an experience in doing so. By consulting a trained criminal defense appellate attorney, your case will be studied in order to look for ways in which your rights can be addressed and upheld. A criminal appeals lawyer will guide you through the process and assure you that every possible matter will be inspected and verified.
Attorney for Appeals
If revoking a criminal charge against your or a loved one, don’t be hesitate to contact Goodman Law Group for a legal consultation wherein your possibilities of defense can be discussed. Ross Goodman is a highly-trained criminal defense attorney who holds a credible familiarity with drafting, filing, and litigating criminal appeals.
Ross Goodman holds wealthy experiences which cover criminal appeals and writs. He concentrates on reversing and reducing appeals for the benefit of his clients. He also finds ways to send back an accused individual back into custody to await further trials after the filed appeals. By choosing Ross Goodman to manage your appeal, you will incur a reliable advocate with extensive record and vast legal opinions.