The criminal justice system says that people can only be convicted of a crime if the evidence shows they did it “beyond a reasonable doubt.” While this might seem like it’s fairly foolproof, this isn’t necessarily the case.
A person who’s convicted of a crime might opt to appeal the conviction. A successful appeal could overturn the conviction or send it back to the court to determine what should happen. One thing to remember about appeals is that they have to have a factual basis that falls under specific categories.
What are the grounds for an appeal?
There are a few different reasons why a person will file an appeal. There must be more than a harmless error that happened. These must be serious enough that it could result in the person being found not guilty of the crime they were convicted of. There are four situations that can lead to an appeal.
- Legal counsel was ineffective based on the Sixth Amendment
- The evidence doesn’t support the conviction
- A serious error of law occurred with a lower court
- An abuse of discretion by the lower court
Putting together the appeal can be rather complex, especially when you consider that no new evidence can be introduced. Learning about the appeals court and how the process works can help convicted individuals learn if they should appeal.
Anyone who’s been convicted of a crime and believes that there was a component of the case that can allow them to appeal the conviction should discuss the matter with someone who’s familiar with this process. Since the appeal process is very specific, these cases must be handled with great care. Getting this going as soon as possible after the conviction is critical.