Criminal Defense Attorneys Specializing in Appealing a Criminal Conviction, Writs of Habeas Corpus, Motion for a New Trial
Our lawyers have a reputation for providing a hard-hitting defense. At Eisner Gorin LLP, our Los Angeles criminal appeal lawyers aggressively work to overturn and reverse criminal convictions from local Southern California courtrooms. We have argued in front of the California Courts of Appeal and Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
We also have filed numerous Motions for New Trial, to compile and preserve the appeal record before sentencing in cases of kidnapping, assault, murder, theft, and many other serious misdemeanor and felony matters.
Our firm partners are Bar-Certified Criminal Law Specialists, that understand well how the appeals process works and the relevant technical procedural issues.
It is important to consult a criminal defense lawyer specializing in Motions for New Trials, Appeals, and Habeas Corpus Writs to get immediate advice on the relevant procedure. See related information: Wrongful Convictions.
Appeals of California State Criminal Cases
A criminal appeal is a request for a review of your case to determine if any errors occurred at the trial level. In order to obtain review, a notice of appeal must be filed:
- within 30 days from the date of sentencing on misdemeanor cases, or
- 60 days from the date of sentencing on felony cases.
Even if you entered a guilty plea but believe that the court erred in sentencing you, you can still appeal if you did not waive your right to appeal. Appeals can also be made from other orders by the court, such as the denial of a petition for resentencing under Proposition 47. Consult with a Los Angeles criminal appeals lawyer at our office to review your case and discuss any potential legal options.
Once an appeal has been filed, the Reporter's Transcript, which is a transcript of the courtroom proceedings, and the Clerk's Transcript, which includes court documents and motions, will be prepared.
At this point, the record is reviewed to determine whether any errors occurred that may have affected your rights and may have prejudiced you. The criminal defense attorney representing you on appeal should speak with you about any errors that you may have noticed and should also speak with your trial attorney about any errors they may have noticed.
The next step is to prepare an opening brief. The opening brief is a written brief that explains any errors occurred and why those errors require either that your conviction(s) be reversed, that you be granted a new trial, or that your sentence be modified.
Once the opening brief has been filed, the prosecution will have the opportunity to prepare a response to the opening brief, which is called the Respondent's Brief. After the prosecution has filed their brief, you and your criminal defense lawyer will have one more opportunity to file a final rebuttal brief, which is called a Reply Brief.
Once all of the briefs have been submitted, the appellate court will set a date for oral argument. This process can take several months depending on the complexity of the case and the schedule of the courts. After oral argument, the court will then issue its decision.
On misdemeanor cases, the appellate court is the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. If the Appellate Division affirms the judgment in your case (meaning that the judgment of the trial court was upheld), you may seek further review in the California Court of Appeal by filing a petition for review.
On felony cases, the appeal goes directly to the California Court of Appeal. If the California Court of Appeal affirms the judgment in your case, you may seek further review in the California Supreme Court by filing a petition for review.
Since this process can be complex, it is highly recommended you contact a Los Angeles criminal appellate attorney from our law firm to thoroughly review your case. See related information: Motion to Withdraw Plea.
Writs of Habeas Corpus
If review is denied or if the judgment is still affirmed, you may then seek to file a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Federal court, but only if you have raised a Federal issue, such as an issue affecting one of your constitutional rights, in your briefs.
Due to the time required to prepare the transcripts, to research the issues, to prepare the briefs, to schedule an oral argument, and to wait for a decision, the appeal process can be lengthy, sometimes taking up to a year or longer.
It is important to note that an appeal is limited to the record of your case. Evidence that was not presented before the trial court can not be introduced on appeal. In order to present evidence that was not previously presented to the trial court, you need to file a Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Alternatively, a Motion for New Trial filed before sentencing in a criminal case case help preserve the record on appeal. Call a Los Angeles criminal appeals attorney at our office for more information.
A Writ of Habeas Corpus is similar to appeal except it allows you to introduce evidence that was not presented to the trial court. If a Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed at the same time that you file an appeal in your case, you can file the Writ of Habeas Corpus directly with the Court of Appeal, but only on felony cases.
If you file a Writ of Habeas Corpus some time after you have filed your appeal, you need to file it first in the trial court. When a Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed with an appeal, the Writ can be used to introduce evidence that should have been presented at trial but was not presented or it can be used to evidence that explains why you were denied a fair trial.
For example, if your trial attorney failed to introduce a key piece of evidence or failed to call a certain witness or failed to communicate with you about your rights, evidence of these errors can be introduced through a Writ of Habeas Corpus.
When a Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed sometime after your appeal, the Writ is typically filed to argue that a new law or a newly discovered piece of evidence benefits you.
In order to be able to file a Writ of Habeas Corpus, you have to be in custody at the time of filing. Custody, however, does not simply mean that you are in jail. The requirement of custody can also be satisfied if you are on probation or parole.
Common issues that are raised on appeal include:
- insufficiency of the evidence (there was not enough evidence to support the conviction),
- ineffective assistance of counsel (your attorney did not adequately represent you),
- erroneous court rulings (such as the court excluded evidence that should have been admitted, or,
- admitted evidence that should have been excluded), and erroneous jury instructions (the jury was not properly instructed).
These legal issues are often complex and need to be reviewed by an experienced Los Angeles criminal appeals lawyer from our office to determine the appropriate action.
Appeals of Federal Criminal Cases
An appeal of a conviction in Federal Court is filed with the Ninth Circuit. A notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days from the date of your sentence or other order being appeal. If the government files a notice of appeal, a defense notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days of the government's filing the notice of appeal.
Within 14 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, you must order and arrange to pay for the court transcripts from the court reporter. If only a partial transcript is ordered, then a statement of issues must be filed within 14 days. Once the record has been filed, you have 40 days to file an opening brief in your case.
The government will then have 30 days to respond to the opening brief. You will then have 14 days to reply to their response. Once all the briefs have been filed, the Ninth Circuit may choose to set a date for oral argument. At oral argument, your attorney will appear before three Ninth Circuit judges to argue your case. At some time after oral argument, the Ninth Circuit will issue a decision in your case.
If the Ninth Circuit decides against you, there are a few options available. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to petition for a rehearing with the same justices or you may petition for a rehearing en banc, which is a request for a panel of 11 Ninth Circuit justices to hear your case.
The Ninth Circuit does not often grant requests for these rehearing's. Alternatively, or in addition, you may also petition the United States Supreme Court to hear your case by filing a writ of certiorari.
Like the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court does not often agree to hear a case. Petitions for review and writs of certiorari require that certain factors be established in order to merit additional consideration. Call a Los Angeles appellate attorney at Eisner Gorin LLP for a complete review of your case.
Motions for a New Trial
A motion for new trial is similar to an appeal except it is filed in and considered by the trial court. A motion for new trial allows you to argue to the trial court why you are entitled to a new trial. This motion must be filed before sentencing on your case.
In one important way, however, a motion for new trial is more similar to a writ of habeas corpus because evidence from outside the record can be introduced in a motion for new trial.
For this reason, a motion for new trial can be a great way to introduce new evidence before the case goes up on appeal. If the trial court denies the motion for new trial, then the denial of that motion can be considered along with any errors from your case when the appeal is filed.
See Related: Motion to Vacate Judgment
Sample Brief's From The California Court of Appeal
Contact a California Criminal Appellate Attorney
At Eisner Gorin LLP, a Los Angeles criminal appeals attorney from our law firm has handled many types of appeals and Habeas Corpus petitions throughout the State of California. When appealing a criminal case, you will need an experienced and skilled appellate lawyer to have the best chance at a positive outcome.
Our Los Angles criminal defense attorneys have a track record of success over many decades. The legal rules and procedures in appealing a criminal case are complex and time-sensitive. You will need to retain the services of an appeals lawyer with extensive knowledge in this area of law.
Don't compromise the ability to potentially have your conviction overturned by retaining an inexperienced law firm. Your future is at stake!
A Los Angeles criminal appellate lawyer from our law firm is available for a free immediate response to learn how we can help you. Our attorneys handle appeals cases in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and throughout the State of California. Call our law firm at 877-781-1570.