Why Hire a Charlotte Appellate Lawyer?

If you have been convicted of a crime in North Carolina, you might be wondering what the best course of action is for you. You may have the option to appeal your criminal conviction. Filing an appeal does not mean that you get a second bite at the apple, contrary to popular belief. The appeals process is extremely intricate and differs substantially from a criminal trial proceeding.

Criminal defendants are tempted to retain the same attorney who represented them at trial, to also represent them in the subsequent appeal. However, there are at least two reasons why this is contrary to the interest of the defendant. First, the case will likely benefit from a new perspective and fresh eyes analyzing the basis of the conviction. Second, the skill set of a criminal appeals attorney and a criminal trial attorney are not identical. On appeal, the Court does not examine the facts of a case. The Court only reviews for an abuse of discretion or error of law. Thus, the arguments made on appeal are very procedural in nature as opposed to substantive.

Meeting with a Charlotte Criminal Appeal Lawyer

If you are considering filing an appeal of your criminal conviction, we recommend hiring a skilled appellate lawyer. When you meet with an appeals lawyer for the first time, you will need to bring a few important documents. First, you will need to bring the final, signed judgment. The judgment will include the disposition of your case, or what happened. If you were convicted, the judge will state that you were convicted as well as your sentence.

Your appeals lawyer will also want to review the record of your trial court case. The record of your case includes the transcript of your hearings as well as any documents you presented to the trial court. After a thorough review, your appellate lawyer will decide whether there is an appealable issue. Specifically, he or she will decide if the trial court judge made a mistake that resulted in you not having a fair trial.

Questions to Ask a Criminal Appeal Lawyer

In many cases, those who have been convicted of a crime want to discuss all of the mistakes they believe their trial lawyer made. However, only certain errors can be the basis for a criminal appeal. The North Carolina Court of Appeals will not review every possible mistake. Instead, they will review legal errors that were significant enough to make the trial unfair.

When you meet with your appellate lawyer, you should ask what grounds the lawyer found for an appeal. Ask about the appeals process and what that will look like for you.

Your criminal appellate lawyer will likely explain the criminal appeals process. He or she may also explain why the trial court ruled incorrectly in your case, based on the evidence and questions presented to the trial court judge. Ultimately, your appellate lawyer will decide why your charges should be reversed or why you might be entitled to a re-trial.

Hiring an Appeals Lawyer After You Won Your Case

If the jury reached a verdict of not guilty, you may wonder why you would need an appellate lawyer. After all, you were free to go after the jury returned a verdict of not guilty and “won” your case. However, the state’s attorney may be unhappy with the decision of the trial court and appeal the not-guilty verdict. Should that happen, you probably need an appellate lawyer.

An appellate lawyer representing a defendant found not guilty at the trial court level will need to prove to the appeals court that the trial court ruled correctly on all motions and evidence. Many defendants think that once they win at trial that the process is totally over. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you have won your criminal trial and received a not-guilty verdict, you may still need the help of a skilled appellate lawyer.

Contact Our Charlotte Criminal Appellate Lawyers

Appeals in criminal cases are extremely serious. Filing an appeal might be a defendant’s last chance to try to overturn his or her criminal conviction in North Carolina. If you have been convicted of a crime in North Carolina and you are interested in filing a criminal appeal, our lawyers can help. Contact the experienced appeals attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation. Call us at (704) 370-2828 or fill out our contact form online. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.