You’ve been convicted of a crime that you did not commit. To many, this sounds like a far-fetched tale that only occurs in novels and TV shows. Well, the truth is that wrongful convictions do happen.
In such circumstances, you may think that all hope is lost and that your criminal record will live with you forever. Thankfully, criminal appeals are possible. Nonetheless, appeals are only heard under certain conditions. Outlined elbows are some of the more common grounds for criminal appeals.
1. Legal errors
In a trial, the judge is tasked with ruling on matters relating to the law and it is the job of the jury to decide upon the facts of the case. The judge must explain the legal aspects to the jury appropriately and apply the law as it should be in your case.
Occasionally, the judge can misdirect the jury. For instance, if the judge did not explicitly state that the jury must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but suggested a lower burden of proof.
2. Ineffective counsel
As the accused, you were entitled to a competent defense. This means that your attorney should have prepared your case and argued it competently at trial. Minor errors, such as mispronunciations, are not likely to count as being ineffective.
However, more substantial errors such as failing to produce vital evidence or failing to object to illegitimate evidence could be classed as negligent.
Simply disagreeing with the verdict of the jury is typically not enough to warrant an appeal. But, if a significant error in the law occurred at trial, then an appeal may be open to you. Seeking further legal guidance can help you find out more about your options.