Just because you’ve been tried and convicted of a crime, it doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of the legal process. You still have the right to appeal your conviction or your sentence, but you won’t be able to use the same attorney who handled your criminal case. You’ll need to find and hire a criminal appeal lawyer and you only have a specific amount of time to get that done. As such, you need to know what to look for in a criminal appeals law firm so you don’t waste time with companies that can’t help you.
Not every law firm has experience dealing with criminal appeals and you don’t want to put your future in the hands of a lawyer who’s never handled this type of appeal. For this reason, it is critical to find an attorney who not only has argued criminal appeals before but has experience with your specific type of case. For example, if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you want an attorney with experience handling DUI conviction and sentencing appeals.
Hiring an experienced attorney will ensure that your case moves quickly and that all appropriate measures are taken to overturn your conviction or lessen your sentence. The phone book is full of lawyers who represent people accused of crimes, but not all of these attorneys handle appeals, which is a complex aspect of law that requires a high level of legal knowledge and experience.
Successful Track Record
Experience with appeals is just one part of the equation. Along with that experience, you’re looking for an appeals attorney who has a successful track record of getting convictions overturned or sentences lessened. This area of law is extremely challenging because judges don’t want to undermine another judge’s trial, so you need to identify a lawyer who is up to this challenge and has been successful in filing previous appeals. If possible, ask any prospective attorney to provide you with referrals from people they’ve helped so you can speak directly to others who have been in your position.
Along with experience and a successful track record, make sure any attorney you’re considering has ample resources to investigate, research, and follow through with the appeal. Paralegals, investigators, legal researchers, and more are all involved with filing and arguing an appeal. It doesn’t just rest on the attorney you hire, although they will do most of the heavy lifting. You want to know that the firm you hire is dedicated to doing the best they can to get your conviction overturned or your sentence lessened.
Moreover, a law firm that has access to an abundance of resources may be able to discover obscure reasons why your conviction or sentence is unlawful or unfair. You need every possible chance you can get when filing and arguing an appeal because it’s such a difficult area of law.
Getting convicted of a crime is scary and you need someone to guide you through the appeals process, someone who has the experience, successful track record, and resources to deliver the best outcome possible. Don’t put your future in the hands of just any criminal lawyer. Find the right criminal appeal attorney to handle your case.