Over the last several months or even years, you have had to go through the necessary proceedings to address the criminal charges that authorities brought against you. Though you worked hard and presented a meaningful criminal defense, the court did not rule in your favor. As a result, you faced a conviction for the charges.
Before you feel too downtrodden, however, you may want to remember that your case does not have to stop there. You may have the option of going through the appeals process in hopes of reaching a different outcome. Of course, an appeal is not necessarily the same as a criminal trial.
Review of the trial
Moving forward with an appeal does not mean that you need to prepare for a new trial. As mentioned, appeals and trials differ. Rather than having your case presented in front of a jury, a jury does not play a role in the appeals process. Appeals also do not involve presenting evidence to the court or calling witnesses to testify.
An appeal is essentially a review of your trial and how the court applied the law in your case. Though witnesses and new evidence are not used, the parties involved can present written briefs to the court, which often contain the arguments for why one side believes the court acted in error and why the other side believes the court acted correctly. If the court determines that an error did occur that contributed to your conviction, the appellate court will likely overturn the initial ruling.
Though a jury does not play a role in the appeals case, your case will not simply involve a single judge to make decisions. Instead, a panel of multiple judges will hear your case and reach a ruling. The exact number of judges involved in your case may depend on certain factors, but commonly, anywhere from three to dozens of judges could play roles.
You may want to remember that appeals are not easy and are just as important as initial trials. Therefore, even though you do not need to prepare for a new trial, working with your legal counsel to approach your appeal in the best manner possible is wise. Your Indiana attorney can further explain the appeals process and what actions you may need to take to prepare.