You fought the good fight and ended up being convicted in an Indiana criminal court anyway. Now you are wondering what's next. Is your case over? Believe it or not, a criminal conviction may not be the end of the road for you.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have the right to appeal. Under what circumstances can someone file to appeal a criminal conviction? How does one go about doing it?
Who can seek an appeal?
The criminal justice system is not perfect. Sometimes errors are made during trial either in fighting the case or when imposing a sentence. Those who believe that their trials contained critical errors that ultimately led to their convictions may file appeals.
How to file
If you wish to file an appeal, you must do so within a very specific time frame. If you miss the deadline, you may miss your chance to have your case heard again. Your legal counsel would be able to tell you exactly how much time you have to file your request.
Filing an appeal is a matter of submitting the appropriate petition with supporting documentation to a higher court. The court will then review the information provided and decide if the conviction should hold or if you qualify for a re-trial. If the court denies your first request for appeal, your case is still not closed. You may still have other options in seeking post-conviction relief. Again, this is a topic an appeals attorney can expand on.
When submitting your request for appeal, the court will only look at the record of your trial. It will not take any new evidence into consideration. The goal is just to determine if any procedural errors occurred leading to your conviction. Just know that when you submit an appeal request, the prosecution has the right to submit a brief expressing that the court uphold the conviction and why.
Do not go it alone
While you have every right to file your criminal conviction appeal request on your own, you do not have to. You have the right to retain legal counsel who has experience with the appeals process. Having someone with this experience by your side and fighting for you can prove invaluable to your case.