Challenging a Criminal Trial Sentence: Direct Appeal
A defendant has the right to appeal a criminal conviction if it appears an error has occurred during the trial. Such appeals, known as direct appeals, challenge certain legal errors that took place during the trial and might have resulted in a wrongful conviction.
Discovering the errors that took place within a trial and filing a Direct Appeal within the strict timeframe allowed for criminal appeals requires the know-how of an experienced criminal appeals lawyer, such as those attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ziff.
A Direct Appeal can be an effective tool for bringing justice to defendants after criminal sentencing. If you or a loved one were just convicted of a criminal state offense you should act quickly to secure a criminal appeals attorney to determine if your recent conviction merits a Direct Appeal.
Time Is of the Essence
Don’t Wait to Appeal Your Verdict
The timeframe for filing a Direct Appeal is narrow, which is why direct appeals for criminal convictions should be made as close as possible to immediately after sentencing. A Notice of Appeal needs to be filed within 10 days after a federal case or 60 days after a California state court case. It’s imperative not to wait to appeal your conviction. Failure to file a Notice of Appeal will bar the direct appeal process.
If sentencing in you or your loved one’s recent criminal case has resulted in a new conviction, a knowledgeable criminal appeals defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ziff can examine your case to see if a wrongful conviction has resulted from mistakes made during your trial. Once a Notice of Appeal has been filed, you will be assisted in understanding how the record on appeal is created, how your case will be reviewed by the courts of appeal, and the possible issues that may be raised.
Addressing Wrongful Convictions through Direct Appeal
In most cases, the Direct Appeal is limited to the facts that are contained in the record, including the issues brought up at trial or during pretrial motions. In this way, a Direct Appeal differs from a Writ of Habeas Corpus; a habeas petition will want to address information or evidence outside of the record. Deciding whether to file an appeal or a Writ of Habeas Corpus can be complex (sometimes both are necessary), and it is best to secure the advice of a seasoned criminal appeals attorney, like those at the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ziff, who have extensive experience handling both direct appeals and writs of habeas corpus, and who are well familiar with the appellate process. In order to win on direct appeal of a recent and potentially wrongful criminal conviction, the following scenarios must have taken place:
- An “error” must have been committed by the trial judge
- When it was made, this error must have been challenged by the defense attorney
- The error must have negatively impacted your conviction or sentence in some way
The Direct Appeal process involving your recent conviction will result in one of the following outcomes:
- A new trial will be assigned
- A new sentence will be determined
- The conviction can be overturned and not retried
- The conviction will remain the same
If you or someone you know was just convicted as the result of a criminal trial, you have a small window of opportunity to act to appeal that conviction. Don’t wait—contact a criminal appeals lawyer, such as Ronald A. Ziff or Abby Besser Klein*, who immediately will begin the Direct Appeal process. In the serious matter of appealing your federal or state conviction, you need an experienced California appeals attorney who will fight for you.