How to File an Appeal in Ohio

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Sandra had been struggling with chronic pain and anxiety, so her doctor prescribed medication to help her manage her symptoms. One day, while driving to pick up her kids from school, Sandra was pulled over for speeding and arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Although Sandra was taking her medication as prescribed, she didn’t realize that it could impair her ability to drive. Her arrest and later conviction left her feeling overwhelmed and afraid because of the consequences of having a criminal record. Sandra felt it should have mattered to the judge that she didn’t realize she was breaking the law when she drove her car that day.

Sandra decided to pursue an appeal but wasn’t sure where to start. Unfortunately, at Fortress Law Group, we hear stories like Sandra’s far too often. In this blog post, our experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorney will answer some questions and go over how to file an appeal in Ohio so you can better understand the appeals process.

Whether you’re appealing a state or federal conviction, contact us at (440) 340-1740 to schedule your case evaluation so we can explore your appeal options. We defend good people accused of bad things.

Understanding the Criminal Appeals Process in Ohio

Before you begin the appeals process, it helps to understand the basic framework of criminal appeals in Ohio. An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the decisions made in a lower court. Ohio has an appellate court system consisting of 12 courts of appeals, with jurisdiction over cases arising in specific counties.

In Ohio, the appeals process can be initiated after a judgment of conviction has been entered by the trial court. The appellant (the person filing the appeal) must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the judgment of conviction.

Grounds for Appeal

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in Ohio, you have the right to appeal your conviction to a higher court. However, an appeal is not a new trial and cannot be used to introduce new evidence or testimony. Instead, an appeal can only be based on errors made during the original trial. Some grounds for filing a criminal appeal in Ohio include the following:

  • Errors in the admission or exclusion of evidence
  • Misconduct by the prosecution or defense attorney
  • Errors in jury instructions
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Incorrect application of the law

Not all errors made during a trial will be grounds for appeal, so it’s crucial to consult with appeal lawyers in Ohio to determine your options.

What Kind of Convictions Can be Appealed in Ohio?

The following convictions can be appealed in Ohio:

  • DUI / OVI
  • Juvenile crimes
  • Theft, fraud, and burglary
  • Violent crimes and gun crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • Sex offenses

Once you meet with your Cleveland criminal defense attorney, they will evaluate your case and advise you of the next steps.

Can I Appeal After Pleading Guilty?

If you’ve already pled guilty, you have a couple of options. If you haven’t been sentenced yet, you can ask the court to let you withdraw your guilty plea. If this is denied, you can appeal the court’s decision. If you plead guilty and have been sentenced, you can also appeal the sentence.

How Long Does the Appeals Process Take?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, as the timeline for a criminal appeal can vary widely depending on many factors.

One of the most significant factors that can impact the length of an appeal is the case’s complexity. If your case involves complicated legal issues or a large amount of evidence, it may take longer to prepare and argue your appeal. Additionally, if your case is selected for oral argument (where both sides present their arguments in person), it can add time to the process.

Another factor that can impact the timeline for a criminal appeal is the workload of the court system. Depending on how busy the appellate court is at any given time, your case may be delayed while the court hears other cases.

Overall, it’s important to remember that every criminal appeal is unique, and there’s no way to predict precisely how long yours will take. However, by working with an experienced criminal appeals attorney and staying informed about each step in the process, you can help ensure your appeal moves forward as efficiently as possible.

Filing an Appeal in Ohio

After retaining an experienced appeal lawyer in Ohio, here are some steps you can expect to occur in the appeals process.

Step Description
1 File a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the judgment of conviction
2 Prepare and submit a written brief outlining the legal basis for the appeal
3 File the brief within a specific timeframe, adhering to certain rules and formatting requirements
4 The appellate court reviews the case, including the trial transcript, the evidence presented, and relevant legal issues
5 The appellate court may schedule oral arguments to hear from both sides in the case
6 After considering all evidence and arguments, the appellate court issues a decision
7 The appellate court’s decision is final unless the case is appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court


Can the Appellate Court Overturn a Trial Conviction or Sentence?

Yes. The appellate court can overturn the conviction, order a new trial, or uphold the original trial court decision. This means that you may have a new trial or sentencing hearing. Winning an appeal can be a long and difficult process, but it can be worth it if you believe that errors were made during your original trial.

What Happens if You Lose an Appeal?

If you lose a criminal appeal in Ohio, the lower court’s decision will stand, and you will be required to serve your sentence. However, there are still options available for further appeals. Consult with your Cleveland criminal defense attorney, who can review your case and determine the best course of action.

FAQs about Cleveland Appeals

Q: Can I represent myself during the appeals process in Ohio?

A: Yes, you have the right to represent yourself during the appeals process in Ohio. However, it’s highly recommended that you work with an experienced appeal lawyer to ensure that your case is presented effectively.

Q: Can I raise new issues during the appeals process in Ohio?

A: No, new issues cannot be raised during the appeals process in Ohio. The appellate court will only consider legal errors that were made during the trial.

Q: Can I request a stay of my sentence during the appeals process in Ohio?

A: Yes, you can request a stay of the sentence during the appeals process in Ohio. This means the sentence will not be carried out while the appeal is pending.

Q: Can I appeal my sentence?

A: Yes. The appeals court will review the sentence to determine if any legal errors were made that affected the sentencing decision.

Q: Can I file an appeal if I have been convicted of a federal crime in Ohio?

A: Yes, you can file an appeal if you have been convicted of a federal crime in Ohio. However, the appeals process will be different and will go through the federal court system.

Let an Appeal Lawyer in Ohio from Fortress Law Group Help You Pursue Your Second Chance

Have you been wrongfully convicted of a crime and are concerned about having a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life? At Fortress Law Group, we understand the psychological toll a criminal conviction carries. Depending on the circumstances, we will apply relevant case laws and file for other remedies that can give you relief.

We know the ins and outs of the Ohio appellate court system, and we’re dedicated to guiding you through the appeals process and building a solid case on your behalf. Don’t wait to pursue your second chance. At Fortress Law Group, we defend good people accused of bad things.

Attorney Matthew Bangerter is an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer who formerly worked as an Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio. His invaluable experience gives him powerful insight into how the other side works. As your criminal defense attorney, Matthew and his team will leave no stone unturned to preserve your liberty and protect your future.

Contact us today at (440) 340-1740 for a case evaluation by an appeal lawyer in Ohio so we can explore your options. You can also fill out our online form here.