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What You Need to Know About Appealing a Criminal Conviction or Sentence

 Posted on February 28, 2019 in Criminal Defense

Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer appealsAfter you have been convicted of a crime, you may feel like you have no options. In Wisconsin, if you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to an appeal. If you believe that errors were made during your case, you should explore all of your legal options with an attorney.

The Wisconsin Appeals Process

The first crucial step in appealing a conviction or sentence is to file a notice of intent to pursue post-conviction relief within twenty days of sentencing. Failing to do this means that you could lose your right to an appeal.

Next, you must determine your grounds for appeal. When you appeal a criminal conviction or sentence, you must argue with great specificity what mistakes occurred during your trial. Some errors commonly alleged in appeals include:

  • Mistakes made by the defense attorney
  • Improper evidence presented to the jury
  • Issues with jury selection
  • Unconstitutionality of the criminal statute under which a defendant was convicted
  • Evidence or statements that were obtained illegally
  • An impermissible sentence was ordered

Also, it is crucial to understand that on appeal, the court will not examine any new evidence or hear from any witnesses. Instead, it will rely on the facts established at trial. Appellate courts only accept legal arguments from parties as to why the conviction or sentence should be overturned because of mistakes made during the trial. 

In addition, your trial attorney must have properly preserved the issue for appeal. In most cases, an appeals court will not hear arguments on an issue that the defense counsel did not object to during trial.

It should be noted that if you pled guilty, you may have a more difficult time on appeal. Typically, you are confined by law as to what you can argue on appeal if you entered a guilty plea. For example, you would not be able to argue that the police illegally seized evidence, but you may be able to argue that you were not properly informed of your rights during the plea. 

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime, you must act quickly to preserve your rights. An appeal is just one way to challenge a conviction and sentence, and you may have other legal options available. Calling a skilled Milwaukee criminal appeals attorney as soon as possible will also give counsel enough time to thoroughly prepare your case.

Our firm has helped many criminal clients put forward their best case on appeal, even if we did not serve as their counsel during trial. Contact the appellate criminal lawyers at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP by calling 414-271-1440 today.




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