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How To Appeal The Judgment In A Criminal Case? Your Last Shot At Criminal Defense

Okabe & Haushalter Jun 1, 2018 Criminal Defense

While an appeal is a crucial part of any criminal case, it is not a new trial before a higher court, contrary to the popular belief here in California. Instead, the criminal appeals process refers to a very limited review of your final sentence or conviction by the Appellate Court in San Francisco or elsewhere in California.

Since there are many misconceptions as to what the Appellate Court does in California, let’s review some of the things the Appellate Court does NOT do:

  • It does not accept or review new evidence
  • It does not retry criminal cases; and
  • It does not hear testimony from witnesses.

“So what is the point of appealing the judgment in my criminal case?” you may be wondering. Our San Francisco criminal defense attorney at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm explains that the Appellate Court reviews the lower court’s proceedings and rulings to find any legal errors or issues that could have affected the outcome of the case or the Constitutional rights of either party.

Under California law, the party who files the appeal is called the “appellant,” while the opposing party is called the “respondent.” Since federal appeals based on a federal crime are governed by a different set of rules compared to state appeals in California, you would have to appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeal and, if necessary, with the Supreme Court of the U.S. in order to pursue a federal appeal.

How to appeal a conviction or sentence in a criminal case?

In order to initiate an appeal, you or your criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco or elsewhere in California have the right to appeal a conviction or sentence within 30-60 days following the trial court ruling.

The criminal appeals process can be initiated by filing a “Notice of Appeal.” California law sets forth very strict timeframes to file a notice of appeal. Failure to comply with these deadlines may make it impossible to appeal the trial court judgment, explain our best criminal defense lawyers in California.

You have a right to appeal a final judgment not only in case of a conviction or sentence. You can appeal a final judgment in the form of:

  • A sentence
  • A final conviction
  • An order of probation
  • An insanity commitment
  • An addiction commitment; or
  • A mental disorder commitment.

In California, you can either file a general notice of appeal or appeal a specific order that substantially affected your rights. In the former case, you and your criminal defense lawyer would not have to point out any specific issues in the verdict or judgment.

Can I be released on bail while on appeal?

“Can I be released on bail while on appeal?” this is a common question asked by those convicted of a misdemeanor and Appeal The JudgmentAppeal The Judgment, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in California.

Under California law, you have a right to bail pending appeal if you were convicted of a misdemeanor. In case of a felony offense, on the other hand, your right to be released on bail will be decided by the trial court.

While your motion to be released on bail should be brought in the trial court, you can appeal the trial court’s denial to release you on bail. The appeal must be filed with the Court of Appeal, but only if you can prove that you first requested a release on bail with the trial court and it refused to grant your request.

Understandably, California courts are very picky when it comes to determining who qualifies for bail releases after criminal convictions and who does not. In order to be released on bail following a felony conviction, your San Francisco criminal defense attorney will have to demonstrate compelling evidence proving that:

  • It is highly unlikely that you will attempt to flee the state or country
  • You do not pose any threat or danger to the opposing party, the plaintiff, or any other person or the public in general
  • You are appealing the judgment because there is actually a valid legal error or issue, rather than appealing in an attempt to delay your criminal case.

Do you want to find out more? Get legal advice from our best criminal defense attorneys in California at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm. Contact our offices by calling at 310-430-7799 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.