Prison is a scary place for anyone, hence looking for ways to get out as soon as possible and asking can you appeal a prison sentence is only logical.
If convicted, every inmate has the automatic right to an appeal, but they must initiate the process on their own. Appeals are not automatic.
To use your right to appeal, an attorney must file a notice of appeal and an appellate brief in which they argue your reasons for appealing.
It is possible to file an appeal “pro se,” or without the assistance of an attorney, although it is not encouraged.
What Happens If You Appeal A Prison Sentence?
Inmates must fill out a mountain of paperwork and wait for a great deal. The wheels of justice turn slowly.
While the state can immediately lock you up, the process of getting out is lengthy and difficult. In addition, the chances are stacked against you.
What Is The Appellate Process?
In the appellate process, some public defenders will represent you, so inmates should take advantage of that because it is rare to find someone who will assist inmates with appeals and have the legal understanding to understand the procedure.
Defense attorneys who admit guilt (or no contest) normally have their motion to appeal dismissed, however, this is not always the case.
What Power Does The Appellate Court Have In My Case?
If you appeal your case, one of the following things may occur:
- The conviction can be upheld by the court as is “affirming the conviction”.
- The court has the authority to return the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
- The judge has the authority to vacate the conviction and remand the case back to the trial court for a new trial.
- An important thing to remember is that even if the court of appeals upholds your conviction, you may be entitled to seek relief from a higher court via a writ or other habeas petition.
What Is The Procedure For Filing An Appeal Against A Prison Sentence?
This is a very basic overview of the appeals process. There’s a lot more to it, and there are other variables.
To get a court of appeals to look at your case, your attorney must file a notice of appeal promptly because there are deadlines, and failing to file the appeal on time makes it nearly impossible to appeal your case.
If an offender decides to file an appeal, they must contact a counsel as soon as they arrive at the prison.
This entails a significant amount of letter writing and phone calls, but not all attorneys take collect calls from prison.
It is frequently highly beneficial to have someone on the outside make essential phone calls and acquire information on the appeals process since, even while convicts have access to information on the appeals procedure,
An offender must consult an attorney so that an appeal can be filed on time and a trial transcript may be ordered to learn what transpired in your case.
Most of the time the individual representing you in your appeal will not be your initial attorney, you may have to switch.
Your attorney will then draught an appellate brief to argue the legal problems in your case, which may vary depending on whether the inmate pled guilty or was convicted.
A retrial is not the same as an appeal. You’re not debating whether or not you committed the offense for which you’ve been charged.
An appeal, on the other hand, is essentially an inmate arguing that something went wrong.
Either that the inmate’s civil liberties were infringed, their lawyer failed to execute their job effectively, or the verdict was erroneous due to a flaw in the trial.
Ultimately, the judges will conclude and issue an opinion explaining why they chose to uphold your conviction or allow your appeal.
What Are The Various Consequences Of Appealing A Prison Sentence?
Once you file an appeal against a prison sentence, several things can happen. Those convicted by a judge or jury may have their conviction overturned and be released.
Even so, the state will either appeal that ruling or opt to prosecute you again and bring you back to trial, where you might be convicted again.
All who admit guilt to their accusations may have their sentences vacated if they win an appeal, and the entire procedure must be done again.
The prosecution can choose to leave you alone and drop the accusations, or they can keep the charges against you and force you to enter a plea bargain or go to trial.
- Even if you win your appeal, you could end up back in prison.
It is also crucial to know that if you are incarcerated and win an appeal, you are not instantly released from prison. Again, it depends on the circumstances, and varies from state to state, from case to case
Is My Appeal Handled Automatically?
Even when you have an inherent right to an appeal if convicted, you must initiate the process.
To use your right to appeal, an attorney must file a notice of appeal and an appellate brief wherein they argue your grounds for appealing.
Defendants who plead guilty (or no contest) frequently have their request to appeal dismissed.
Is An Appeal The Same As A Retrial?
You can’t use a fresh trial strategy, new evidence, or the fact that you didn’t like your lawyer in an appeal.
Only the “four corners” of the court reporter’s transcript will be examined by appellate courts to ensure that the verdict was correct based on the evidence, that the trial was fair, and that your right to due process was not violated.
The judges will make a judgment and write an opinion explaining why they believe your conviction should be upheld or denied.