Philadelphia Attorney Discusses Whether You Should Appeal A Conviction
It seems that everyone that gets convicted of a crime wants to appeal their case. Should they and when? You cannot appeal your case until after your sentencing and you must file it within thirty (30) days after your sentencing and it must be in writing (either by you or an attorney). You should appeal only if there was something wrong with your trial that was “substantial” (not “harmless”) enough to affect the outcome of your trial. You should not appeal if you are appealing merely because you did not like the outcome of your trial. (Attorney’s have an ethical and legal obligation not to file frivolous appeals (or any legal filings) but they do sometimes.)
What are the basis grounds for an appeal?
- The lower court made a serious error of law (plain error i.e., something that affects the defendant’s substantial rights);
- The weight of the evidence does not support the verdict;
- The lower court abused its discretion in making an errant ruling;
- The claim of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel under the Sixth Amendment.
You must find an issue that falls into one the four basic categories. (Examples of these will be covered in my next article.)