Understanding Your Rights: Las Vegas Criminal Conviction Appeals
A conviction is not the end of your defense. Fortunately, if you have been found guilty, you still have the right to file a criminal conviction appeal to challenge the trial court’s findings in your case.
A criminal conviction appeal is a legal process in which you can request that a higher court review and potentially overturn a decision made by a lower court. Criminal conviction appeals are an essential tool for ensuring that justice is served and that your rights are protected, even after a conviction.
If the appellate court finds that an error (or errors) were made at the trial court level, you can be eligible for relief such as having your conviction overturned, having your sentence reduced or having your case remanded for a new trial or hearing.
However, the appeals in Nevada are governed by the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure, which is why you need an experienced criminal conviction appeals attorney to help you avoid the common mistakes and errors people make in the appeal process, including improper and untimely filed appeals, permanently waiving arguments in your future case, etc.
Whether you are considering filing an appeal or are already in the midst of the process, we at Conviction Solutions will provide you with the information you need to understand your rights and navigate through the legal system and assist you with your appeal.
How does the Appeal Process work?
Filing notice of appeal in the court that tried your criminal case is the first step in the Appeal process. Your attorney has a limited length of time to do this based on where your trial took place. If your trial took place in the district court, they must appeal within 30 days from the date of your conviction. While if your guilty verdict came out in a district or federal district court, they have only 14 days to begin the appeal process.
The trial court will file the transcripts of your proceedings with the appellate court once your attorney has submitted the notice of appeal. Your defense team then has 120 days to draw up an appellate brief that defines point-by-point reasons why you should win on appeal. Once you do that, the state attorney will file an opposition brief to your appeal, to which you and your lawyer may or may not get a chance to reply to the opposition.
In some cases, your lawyer can be able to present and make oral arguments or statements to the appellate judge supporting the brief. The appellate court will then review and issue a written decision based on the trial.
Issues that can be Raised on Appeal
There are certain issues that can be raised on Appeal that can benefit your case and trial. A few of them are the following:
1. Lacked Jurisdiction to Rule on Your Case
The basic issue that can be raised is regarding the jurisdiction of the court that ruled on your case. This means to know if the court had the legal authority to hear your case or if it was filled in the wrong county, or if the case simply didn’t occur within the court’s jurisdiction.
If this issue is raised and is found to be true, then the case can be dismissed entirely.
2. Incorrectly Allowed Evidence to be Admitted Against You
If the lower court has incorrectly allowed evidence to be admitted against you, meaning if the illegally obtained evidence or evidence that was irrelevant to the case has been accepted by the lower court. The evidence in question might be suppressed if this issue is brought up on appeal and is confirmed to be accurate, which would considerably weaken the prosecution’s case.
3. Misinterpretation of a Law or Regulation
If the lower court has misinterpreted a law or regulation, this issue can be brought up on appeal. This can happen if the law was improperly applied to your case by the judge or if the law itself is unconstitutional. The court can reverse the decision of the lower court or order a new trial if the issue is brought up on the appeal and proven true.
4. Improper instructions for the Jury
One of the issues that could be raised in the appeal is whether the jury received improper or inappropriate instructions from the trial judge. Improper instruction to the jury can result in the jury reaching a verdict that is not supported by the evidence and law.
5. Allowed your case to go to the jury when it should have been dismissed due to insufficient evidence
If the lower court has allowed your case to go to the jury when there was insufficient evidence to support it, the conviction is another issue one can raise in the appeal. This can happen when the prosecution is unable to prove the element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
6. Improper sentence and/or other punishment
If a judge imposes a sentence that is not in line with the sentencing guidelines or disproportionate to the severity of the crime. For example, if the judge imposes a sentence that is longer than what is typical for the offense or takes factors like race and ethnicity into account, which is not relevant to the case. If the issue is found to be true, the sentence could be modified or a new trial could be issued.
A report by the National Registry of Exonerations states that there were 2,795 exonerations in the United States from 1989 to 2020. Of those, 166 were due to a wrongful conviction based on mistaken witness identification, 153 were due to official misconduct, and 151 were due to false or misleading evidence. These statistics highlight the importance of criminal conviction appeals in ensuring that justice is served and that individuals are not wrongfully convicted.
How Can Conviction Solutions Help You?
When you appeal a criminal conviction in Las Vegas, it is important to have the right legal representation on your side. At Conviction Solutions, we specialize in criminal conviction appeals and are dedicated to helping our clients navigate through the complex process.
The attorneys at Conviction Solutions are experienced in the appeal criminal conviction trial process and working with clients who have already been through a criminal conviction and are seeking a successful appeal.
Appealing for a criminal conviction can be a long and difficult process, and many people can give up before reaching the end. However, Conviction Solutions understands the importance of fighting for justice and will work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome for your case. Contact us today for your criminal conviction appeal.