A criminal conviction, though serious, does not necessarily mean the end of your legal options. If you qualify to file an appeal, a higher court could review the legality of the trial procedure, your conviction, or your sentence.

An experienced defense attorney could carefully examine your trial transcript, looking for any issues that could be the basis for an appeal. If you believe you were wrongly convicted, consult a Bloomington appeals lawyer for about an appellate review’s viability.

Procedural Mistakes That Are Grounds for Appeal

Although anyone convicted of a crime in the state may file an appeal, a person will need a lawyer to appear on their behalf before the Minnesota Court of Appeals for oral arguments. A legal professional will look for procedural flaws in a person’s case to advise them whether they should proceed with an appeal. Some flaws include:

  • The trial judge misapplied the law or made intemperate remarks, such as threatening to sentence the defendant to a lengthy prison term for not paying assessed fines
  • The trial judge issued improper jury instructions, such as asking the jury to consider criminal charges beyond what a person was found guilty of
  • The prosecutor misbehaved, for example, by bribing witnesses or intentionally withholding crucial evidence favorable to the defendant
  • The trial counsel made critical errors, called ineffective assistance of counsel, which violate the Minnesota and United States Constitutions

At the conclusion of a defendant’s trial, a nearby criminal defense lawyer should discuss a possible appeal with them since filing deadlines for appeals are precise. The appellate court can dismiss someone’s case if they miss deadlines.

Process of Appealing a Judgment or Order

The appeals process begins with the appellant filing a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The appellant must ensure that adverse parties, called respondents, and the trial court that ruled on their case are served notice, too. The appellant will have to submit proof of service paperwork to the appellate clerk, a copy of the judgment or order of the trial court which they are appealing, and a statement of the case. They must also pay a $550 filing fee.

Once the appellant is set up in the court system, they can file a brief which states all of their arguments for appeal and cites the trial court transcript, orders issued by the court, and any communications to back up their claims. The respondent files an answering brief within 30 days. After the appeals court receives both briefs, oral arguments are scheduled, where only the appellant’s attorney may appear to argue for them, and the respondents’ attorney to argue against them. The appeals court will issue its opinion within 60 days after oral arguments.

How the Court of Appeals May Rule

The Minnesota Court of Appeals can rule three ways in an appellant’s case. It can affirm the trial court’s decision, which means the appellant will be held to lower court’s ruling or judgment. If the appellate court reverses the trial court, then the appellant wins their appeal. The appellate court can also remand someone’s case back to the original court that heard it, and the issues they appealed will be the subject for more litigation. The process is complicated, and because only an attorney can present oral arguments, an individual should consult a local defense lawyer familiar with appeals to argue on their behalf.

A Bloomington Appeals Lawyer Could Aid Your Case

You should not resign yourself to living with an erroneous criminal court judgment. Appeals courts are in place because judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys make mistakes, and you should not have to pay for those mistakes. You have a chance to correct them if you believe your court order or judgment is incorrect. An appeal will get any errors in your trial in front of appellate judges.

Contact a Bloomington appeals lawyer to evaluate your trial outcome and help you navigate the appellate court system. Call today for your initial consultation.