When New Mexico charges you with a criminal offense, your defense attorney is the only thing standing between you and potential incarceration. The lawyer who assists with your defense could help prove your innocence and secure your freedom, or they could make massive mistakes while representing you that directly contribute to a conviction.
The right to appeal stems from the right to a fair and unbiased trial process. Typically, someone convicted in court who wants to appeal will need to show that there was a mistake or a violation of their rights that occurred. Challenging the way that the courts interpreted the law or pointing out a possible conflict of interests could lead to an appeal.
Some people can also appeal because they received inadequate counsel from their attorney.
You can’t defend yourself without competent support
There is a reason that one of the civil rights of people accused of criminal acts is the right to retain an attorney. Trying to navigate the criminal justice system is difficult, especially when you have something personal at stake. Your right to adequate counsel helps ensure that there is someone informing you of the law and advocating on your behalf during court proceedings.
Unfortunately, some lawyers fail to do right by their clients during a criminal trial. They might dabble in an area of law in which they have no experience. Some attorneys will even fall asleep in court, show up to a hearing under the influence of alcohol or even completely forget to come to court.
Major mistakes, including not disclosing a conflict of interests or providing representation that most other lawyers would agree was inadequate, could constitute legal malpractice. It may also give a defendant grounds to appeal because they did not have adequate legal representation during their initial trial.
Your court records can help you explore your options
An appeal can cost significant time and financial investment, so it is important that you ensure your circumstances meet the criteria to file an appeal. A careful review of the records from the trial could help you determine if you could have secured a better outcome with a different attorney for assistance.
Learning more about the different grounds for criminal appeals in New Mexico can help you bounce back after an unfavorable outcome in criminal court.