Every day, people find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In 2014, 14% of capital punishment sentences were wrongful convictions, and 4% of those sentences resulted in placing people in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. The criminal justice system seeks to convict the guilty and clear the innocent, but sometimes details are missed, and someone is wrongfully convicted.
According to the National Institute of Justice, wrongful convictions may happen for two reasons:
- The person convicted is factually innocent of the charges.
- There were procedural errors that violated the sentenced person’s rights.
If a person is wrongfully convicted of a crime in a Texas criminal court, their attorney can request an appeal.
According to LaHood Norton Law Group, appealing a criminal conviction involves asking a higher court to review the lower court’s decision by inspecting the case for mistakes. Appeals are not a new trial, and further evidence is not submitted. Instead, the higher court reviews proceedings of the lower court. It also reviews written briefs submitted by the appellate and state attorneys.
Your appeals attorney will present a brief oral argument, discussing legal errors that lead to the faulty sentencing. The state’s attorney will argue why the court should uphold the original sentence. Both sides will give a brief oral argument to the court.
If the higher court finds mistakes that affected the case’s outcome, it may dismiss the case or remand it back to the lower court for a new trial or reduced sentencing. Remember that appeal results can vary depending on the type of case and whether mistakes are found in the initial investigation.
According to the United States Courts, appeals are handled differently depending on the type of case.
- Civil case—either side may appeal the verdict.
- Criminal case—the defendant may appeal a guilty verdict, but the government may not appeal if a defendant is not found guilty. Either side may appeal concerning the sentence given after a guilty verdict.
- Bankruptcy case—the party that loses the initial bankruptcy appeal may appeal to the court of appeals.
In other cases, if a party is not satisfied with the outcome made by the federal administrative agency, they can file a petition to have the court of appeals review the agency’s decision.
Appeals are legal options available to those convicted of crimes for post-conviction relief. However, they can be complex matters and require a different approach. The attorneys at LaHood Norton Law Group have the experience, knowledge, and skills you need to navigate the appellate process in both state and federal courts.