How To File An Appeal in A Criminal Case Edwardsville IL
Dealing with a criminal case can be difficult, but there are solutions if you’re willing to work with an attorney and the Illinois court system. If you’ve been convicted and sentenced, you can file an appeal to a higher court to have them review the decision made by the lower court. The goal of these appeals is to look closely for any legal errors which would have affected your criminal case. If you’re currently fighting a criminal case in Edwardsville, IL, and you want to file an appeal, here’s what you need to know about the appeal process.
Can You Appeal?
Determining whether or not you can appeal is the first step to filing an appeal. If a conviction comes as a result of a guilty plea by the defendant, that defendant doesn’t get the right to appeal their case by default. In these cases, the appellate court will ultimately make the decision regarding whether or not to proceed with the appeal process.
Defendants who were convicted by a judge or jury at trial automatically have the right to appeal their case. In addition to that, any case which involves the death penalty in states that enforce it allow all cases involving the death penalty to be appealed.
Since appealing a trial with a verdict of “not guilty” would violate the Fifth Amendment, these verdicts can’t be appealed. However, any pre-trial rulings can be appealed, which includes whether or not evidence is admissible.
How to File an Appeal
When a person is convicted by a Circuit Court, they may file for an appeal with the Illinois Appellate Court. This is the first step to appealing a case for most people as most convictions happen at this level. The Appellate Court will review your case and overturn it if there are any legal errors or other issues that could have affected your trial.
If you want to appeal the decision made by the Illinois Appellate Court, things get a little bit trickier. The Illinois Supreme Court only takes on certain cases from the Illinois Appellate Court, which means there’s a chance your appeal may not be granted. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis and there are a lot of factors that affect it.
In some cases, the appeal may be a matter of a federal legal issue. If you can prove that your appeal is a federal issue, you may be able to take the appeal process to a federal court where you can have it reviewed at a higher level.
Possible Appeal Outcomes
When you file an appeal, there are a few different things that can happen. The ideal outcome for the defendant is that the appeal is granted and the Illinois Appellate Court rules in favor of the defendant. However, there are even a few different outcomes in this scenario. While some successful appeals may completely reverse the decision made by the lower court, there are also cases where only part of the decision is reversed. While this may not be the ideal situation, it can still help you to get a fair sentence.
If the Illinois Appellate Court (and the Illinois Supreme Court, should the appeal process go that far) find that there were no legal errors or other issues with your conviction, the decision made by the lower court(s) will stand and you will receive the sentence and conviction you started with.
The Decision-Making Process
There are a lot of factors at play in the decision-making process for appealed convictions. The main thing a higher court will look for in these appeals is any legal error which might have had an affect on your criminal case and conviction. By analyzing all court proceedings, from transcripts and evidence to pre-trial and post-trial motions, the court can determine whether or not there were any legal issues affecting the trial.
In addition to reviewing court proceedings, appellate courts will also accept and review a written brief from both parties involved to help them make a decision. In some cases, the appellate court may hear an oral argument to clear up parts of the written briefs.
Get Some Help
Appealing a criminal case can be a complex process, which is why it’s so important to have a criminal attorney on your side. If you were recently convicted by a court in the Edwardsville, IL, area and you need a criminal attorney to help you appeal your case, The Law Office of Robert Elovitz can help. More than 25 years of legal experience means Robert Elovitz knows how to navigate the Illinois court system. If you need help filing an appeal for a criminal case in Illinois, call The Law Office of Robert Elovitz at (618) 692-4800.