Criminal Appeals

The Law Offices of Benjamin J. Cheeks is committed to providing comprehensive legal representation to its clients. If convicted of a crime, you have a limited amount of time to appeal the conviction. With over a decade of criminal justice experience, which includes years of working as an appellate attorney, Benjamin J. Cheeks is the attorney you need.

Criminal Appeals Generally – Criminal appeals are not a retrial of the original case. They are an independent evaluation of rulings and decisions that were made in the trial court. The appellate court will decide whether there was legal error that would warrant overturning your conviction.

Notice of appeal – Both state and federal appeals courts require the person convicted of a crime to file a Notice of Appeal to preserve their right to an appeal. This document must be filed shortly after trial or sentencing. Preserving your right to appeal is extremely important and should be done as quickly as possible.

Grounds for appeal – In order to successfully appeal a conviction, your attorney must show that a legal error occurred at the trial court level. The appellate court will consider issues such as:

  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Rulings issued by the judge before or during the trial
  • Insufficiency of evidence at trial
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Excessive sentence

Timeline – Once the notice of appeal is filed, your attorney will have to draft and submit an opening brief to the appellate court. The trial court records will also have to be submitted to the appellate court. The Government will then draft and submit a brief responding to the arguments made in your opening brief. In some instances, your attorney can submit a reply brief. The appellate court will then review all of these documents. The court may ask for your attorney to present an oral argument supporting your position on the appeal. After the oral argument, the court will rule on the issues in the case.

If you or a loved one has recently been convicted of a crime, you need the assistance of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. Time is of the essence, so please contact the Law Offices of Benjamin J. Cheeks today at (619) 995-7828 for a free consultation.

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