Understanding Criminal Appeals in Ohio

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression. While that may be the case in a lot of situations, it doesn’t apply when it comes to criminal appeals in Ohio. If you didn’t get the outcome you were hoping for the first time around, an appeal is your opportunity to overturn your conviction and set the record straight once and for all.

What Types of Criminal Cases Can Be Appealed?

If you’re researching criminal appeals in Ohio, you should know that any type of criminal conviction is subject to an appeal. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, any type of federal crime, a white collar crime, drug, sex, or violent crimes, it’s possible to appeal your case and fight for a better outcome.

Appeals aren’t just for convictions, either. If you don’t agree with the sentence that’s been handed down in your case, you can appeal that, as well.

What Happens in the Appeals Process?

When you appeal your case, you ask a higher court to review the decision of the trial court. In your appeal, your attorney will work to convince the higher court that the judge or jury in the trial court made the wrong decision in your conviction or sentencing.

To kick off the process, the defendant/their attorney will file a brief. The prosecutor will then respond with their own brief. The higher court (which consists of a panel of three judges) will read the briefs and then hear oral arguments from both sides. The panel of judges will vote, with the majority vote deciding which side wins the case.

Criminal Appeals in Ohio

There several things that it’s important to know about criminal appeals in Ohio. If someone has been convicted, their conviction/execution of judgment does not get automatically stayed simply because they’ve filed an appeal. If you’ve been convicted, you can apply for an Appellate Bond in order to remain free while you wait for your appeal.

Appeals take time. In most cases, they take anywhere from several months to a year or more. However, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file for your appeal to be put on the Accelerated Docket. Cases that end up here typically involve issues such as parental rights (where a child would be permanently removed from their parent, for instance). Cases that aren’t very time-intensive also have a good chance of being put on the Accelerated Docket.

If you’ve already pled guilty, you have a couple of options. If you’ve not 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.

What Causes an Appellate Court to Reverse a Conviction?

The higher court might reverse the lower court’s decision for any number of reasons. Sometimes in the original case, the court allowed evidence to be heard that should not have been allowed. Certain procedural defects may also create a doubt that the original trial was held in a fair manner. The appellate court can also review the evidence to determine whether the judge or jury truly lost its way.

Finding the Right Attorney for Your Appeal

Obtaining talented legal representation is key in winning your appeal. It’s important to have an attorney who is convincing, but it’s just as important to have one who is well-versed in the details of the way the criminal justice system works. Knowledge of forensic evidence is also a critical part of the appeals puzzle. Whether it’s presenting evidence in a way that backs up your side of the story or pointing out questionable evidence that has been submitted by the prosecution, a truly skilled defense attorney will know how to handle such evidence.

If you have been convicted of a crime and you’re looking to appeal, Northeast Ohio criminal appeals attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. can help. Click here for an initial consultation or call (440) 241-4237 to start planning your defense.