Unfortunately, the criminal court system doesn’t always get the verdict right. There are many cases of wrongful conviction, leaving those convicted to fight for their freedom. If you were sentenced for a crime but believe the court made an error in your case, a criminal appeals lawyer in Philadelphia can help you fight the verdict.
Our team at the Law Offices of M.J Snyder will review your case and go over your legal options with you. You can call any time to receive a free consultation—our phone lines are open 24/7.
What Is a Criminal Appeal?
An appeal is when someone convicted of a crime asks a higher court to review a decision that was reached in a lower court. If you believe a lower court came to the wrong outcome in your case, you have the right to appeal that ruling and ask that a higher court review the case. The same or a different criminal defense attorney can represent you through the appeals process.
In an appeal, the higher court doesn’t try the case again. Instead, a higher court goes over the records and documents from the previous trial and determines if the lower court made any errors.
Reasons to Appeal a Verdict
Someone might appeal a lower court ruling if:
- There were legal errors that impacted the case‘s outcome. An example of a legal error would be that there was not sufficient evidence for a guilty conviction, your motion to suppress should have been granted, evidence was admitted at the trial that was inappropriate, or the prosecution did not share all the evidence with your defense team.
- The jury’s actions were inappropriate. For instance, if jury members violated the instructions from the court or were not supposed to be on the jury for some reason, your lawyer might use that as grounds for an appeal.
- You did not have adequate legal representation. Not getting appropriate legal help is called ineffective assistance of counsel. In this case, you would argue that the trial’s results would have been different if you had received competent legal representation or if your lawyer had done something that you asked them to do that was legally permissible
For a free legal consultation with a criminal appeals lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
The Appeals Process in Philadelphia
When a higher court hears an appeal, it reviews the evidence from the previous court’s rulings. The court will then determine if errors were made that would have impacted the case’s outcome.
For example, the court will review the trial transcript and all evidence that was presented during the original trial. The appeals court then decides whether or not to agree with the original court’s decision. If it does agree, then the conclusion of the lower court stands. If it doesn’t, the case goes back to a lower court.
In Pennsylvania, two main intermediate appellate courts handle most appeal cases. Beyond these, the highest court in Pennsylvania is the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Philadelphia Criminal Appeals Lawyer 215.515.3360
What Is the Role of a Criminal Appeals Lawyer?
A criminal appeals lawyer handles all the steps involved with appealing a previously decided criminal case. This process includes reviewing the court’s previous ruling and all documents related to the court case.
An appeals attorney can help determine if there are grounds to appeal your case and what these grounds might be. Were legal errors made that impacted the court’s decision? What would be the strategy for appealing? They will also communicate with the legal system throughout the appeals process. They work through the case to determine what errors the court might have made and how to fix those errors.
The lawyer’s job may lead to your case being reviewed again by a lower court. This review or retrial may lead to a reduced sentence or dropped charges.
Determining Whether to Appeal Your Case
Deciding to appeal a lower court’s decision will depend on the specifics of your case. If you pleaded guilty in the original case, an appeal is possible only under specific circumstances. If a judge or jury convicted you, you could appeal the court’s decision to a higher court.
Each case is different, and seeking appropriate legal counsel can help you make an informed decision. It all depends if there are grounds for an appeal. Questions to consider include:
- Is there still time to appeal?
- Were there errors made that impacted the outcome of the case?
- Was there evidence that the court ignored?
- Was the evidence for your conviction insufficient?
- Was the jury partial, or did the jury behave in an inappropriate manner?
Our Firm Has Helped Others With Their Criminal Appeals Cases
At the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, we offer aggressive and experienced representation for our clients. We understand that every case is different and take an individualized approach to each case. Here are some of our recent Google reviews from past clients:
- “Marni Jo Snyder is one of the most amazing attorneys, she helped me and my family with our case. We were very anxious about it but she helped us all the way through. She answered any of our questions through calls and texts quickly. Great communication. Marni made things simple and easy. We are very glad we had her as our attorney. Without any doubt I would recommend her for all my friends and relatives.” — Doha Salah
- “Attorney Snyder was one of the best attorneys I have worked with. She answered me quickly and was very respectful and wanted the best for me.” — Jason Moyer
- “Marni was easy to reach, direct and transparent and I never had to question whether or not she was working hard for me. If you want someone to provide highly skilled representation without the challenges that clients typically have with lawyers, Marni is for you.” — Nike Sprow
Call Today for Your Free Case Review
The Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC is ready to help you through your criminal appeal. Call today to get started with a free consultation. We are ready to answer your questions.