If you have been convicted of a federal or state crime, you have the right to challenge the trial court’s decision by filing a direct appeal. However, just because you have the right to, does not mean that you can.
You cannot simply file an appeal because you are unhappy with the outcome of your trial. You must have appropriate legal grounds. There must have been some type of legal error made during your trial that affected the verdict.
Our Toledo direct appeal lawyers at Patituce & Associates can help you file an appeal if:
- You had ineffective defense counsel during your trial.
- There was insufficient evidence to establish your guilt.
- The outcome of your case was impacted by juror misconduct.
- There were improper instructions given to the jury members.
- You suspect that your case was affected by prosecutorial misconduct.
The Direct Appeal Process
You must file a direct appeal with the District Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction over the county where your conviction occurred.
You do not have forever to file a direct appeal. In Ohio, you must notify the court that you wish to appeal the decision within 30 days of the date of the final judgment. To begin the criminal appeal process, you will need to submit several forms to the trial court clerk.
The documents required for a direct appeal include:
- Notice of appeal
- Docketing statement
Once your documents are filed, a panel of appellate judges will review your case. During their evaluation, they will consider the legal grounds for the appeal and analyze the trial court record. They will also read the brief you submitted, which sets forth your arguments for an appeal, identifies where the error occurred during the trial, and lists all the laws that are relevant to your case.
The court does not consider any new evidence or hear any witness testimonies. In some cases, the judges will decide to hear oral arguments from both you and the opposing side.
The appeals process is complicated, and you will need excellent representation to maximize your chances of success.
Possible Outcomes of a Criminal Appeal in Ohio
After the appellate court reviews your case, it will make a decision regarding what should be done with your conviction. There are three main ways the court can respond to your request.
Here are the potential outcomes.
If the appellate judges agree with your argument that a legal error occurred, they can reverse the judgment of the lower court, and your conviction may be vacated. The appellate court has the authority to enter a new judgment or send the case back to the lower court with instructions to dismiss the original action, change its decision, or retry the case.
If the appellate court deems that certain parts of your trial were improper, it can choose to modify the trial court’s decision by correcting those specific aspects.
If the appellate judges do not find a legal error in your original trial, they will affirm the judgment made by the lower court, and the sentence will stand.
Speak to Our Experienced Toledo Direct Appeal Lawyers!
The direct appeal process is challenging and it does not always work. In order to be successful, you need to present a compelling argument that is based on a thorough knowledge of post-conviction laws and processes.
At Patituce & Associates, our team has over 70 years of combined legal experience. We have helped many people get their sentencing reduced or dropped altogether. We would love the opportunity to help you fight for the second chance at justice that you deserve.