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Might there be cause to appeal your criminal conviction?

When can you appeal a criminal conviction? According to the Indiana Judicial Branch’s webpage, the Court of Appeals of Indiana may not decline appeals. However, there comes a point when you may have exhausted your appeals.  In addition, there are certain rules that apply.

As a preliminary matter, the forum for filing an appeal depends on whether the lower case was in state or federal court. A conviction in an Indiana trial court usually indicates a state appeal. After the Court of Appeals issues a decision, the parties may have the right to appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court. A federal district court decision, in contrast, typically can be appealed only in a federal court of appeals.

Regardless of whether the forum is state or federal, an appeal generally does not constitute a new trial or the opportunity to submit new evidence in the record. Rather, the appellate court will generally review the record in the case, including any new briefs submitted by the parties.

Broadly speaking, there are grounds for an appeal if an appellant asserts that certain rulings of the trial court were erroneous and wrongly affected the verdict. The errors may have been legal, or perhaps involved the admission of disputed evidence.

If you were wrongfully convicted or believe there is cause to file an appeal, our lawyers have the experience to review your case and offer strong advocacy. From writing a strong appellant’s brief to preparing for oral argument, our criminal defense law firm understands how much is at stake in an appeal. We will fight hard to get justice if you have been wronged. 

Source: Indiana Lawyer, “Drug dealer’s convictions upheld after ‘exceptionally weak’ arguments,” Olivia Covington, Dec. 13, 2016

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