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Cincinnati Appeal Lawyer
In most cases, if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you may appeal that decision to a higher court. In order to do so, you must file an appeal with the applicable Court of Appeals in the state. In Ohio, there are 12 appellate divisions. You must know which division in which to file and have the appropriate paperwork with necessary arguments and follow local court procedures.
A Cincinnati appeal lawyer can help. If you’re facing a criminal matter and want help filing an appeal, contact the experienced criminal defense team at Luftman, Heck, & Associates. We are ready to guide you through your legal options to achieve the best outcome possible. Request a free consultation online or call us today at (513) 338-1890.
Common Grounds for Appeal
You may appeal the judgment of the court on legal grounds only, not on factual grounds. The facts are weighed by the jury and/or judge during the trial. An appeal must be presented based on a problem with the law in connection with the case.
The most common legal reasons for filing an appeal include:
- Incorrect jury instructions
- Lack of evidence
- Errors in sentencing
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Incompetent counsel
- Juror misconduct
- Erroneous exclusion or improper admission of evidence
Process for Criminal Appeal
1. Filing Initial Documents
There are several initial documents that are a part of the appeal process. First, you must file a Notice of Appeal. This document informs the court and the attorneys for the prosecution that you are filing an appeal of your conviction. Other documents include a docketing statement and a request for the trial court to provide the recorded proceedings of the trial. The Notice of Appeal should be submitted within 30 days after the filing of your sentence.
A document called a ‘Praecipe’ must normally be filed as well – this directs the court reporter to prepare the transcript and file it with the court. You will then want to order a transcript of the proceedings of your trial.
2. Appellate Brief
The argument for the reversal of your conviction must be contained in an Appellate Brief. An appeal in and of itself does not constitute a new trial. The Appellate Brief does not attempt to persuade the court based on the facts of the case. The issues presented in this document are to concern legal errors at the trial level. The argument you pose must convince the court that something about the process of the trial proceedings was unfair, thus demanding a reversal of the conviction. No additional evidence may be introduced in the Appellate Brief. The information used must be taken from the trial court records which include the transcript.
The most effective tool that helps defendants win a criminal appeal is legal research. Most appeals are actually unsuccessful. This is true for many reasons, but one major cause is a lack of effective legal research and the effective presentation of that research to the appellate court.
The twelve appeals courts across the state of Ohio each have their own set of requirements for Appellate Brief submissions. Cincinnati appeal lawyer Brad Groene can help ensure your appeal is filed with the right court and that it meets that court’s requirements.
3. Other Briefs
The prosecution has an opportunity to respond to the merit brief submitted by the defendant. This response is called a Brief in Response. Not surprisingly, this brief explains the reasons why the defendant’s appeal should not be accepted by the court. The criminal appellant has an opportunity to file a Reply Brief in response to the Brief in Response filed by the defendant. There are strict deadlines for filing all documents and briefs in courts. Each court may have different deadlines.
4. Oral Arguments
Not only will you have an opportunity to file an Appellate Brief describing your arguments for appeal, you may also request oral argument. It is important to request oral argument if you want to ensure the court will schedule it. Otherwise, the court may simply use the supplied briefs to make a decision.
Oral argument gives you a final chance to convince the three-judge panel of the merits of your appeal. Your Cincinnati appeal lawyer will be prepared to answer questions posed by the judges and clear up any confusion so that the arguments presented are clear and concise.
5. The Decision
The appellate court will offer an opinion in response to the appeal regardless of whether or not oral arguments have been presented. This opinion will either reverse the decision/ruling/ sentence of the trial court or uphold it. The decision will be announced sometime after oral arguments have finished. The judges will discuss the issues presented among themselves and provide the official written opinion of the court.
If You Lose the Appeal
If you fail to win the appeal, you may have additional options. Your Cincinnati appeals attorney may ask the appellate court to send the case to the State Supreme Court if the opinion is in conflict with the decision of another appeals court in Ohio. If another opinion given by this same court, contradicts this opinion, you may request the court to deliver an ‘en banc’ decision issued by all judges of the court. This option must be exercised within 10 days of the appellate court’s decision.
Other Possible Post-Sentencing Options
Beyond an appeal, you may have access to several other legal procedures, including:
- Motion for a new trial
- Judicial release
- Motion for sentence modification
- Habeus corpus
You can count on Cincinnati appeal lawyer Brad Groene and the entire team at Luftman, Heck & Associates to work diligently to protect your rights and achieve an optimal outcome in your case. The faster you contact us, the faster we can help you move forward with your appeal process.
Call us today at (513) 338-1890to set up a free consultation.