Demystifying the Court System. The "Direct Appeal" Courts:

Dec. 16, 2021

In the last two entries for this Blog, we considered the organization of the trial and appellate courts which comprise the criminal justice system. In this entry, we will now focus on "direct appeal courts."

At this “direct appeal” level, your appellate attorney should dissect your entire case to find any and all errors made by the judge or the prosecutor (from start to finish). Those errors must then be artfully explained in your “Appellant’s Brief” wherein your lawyer also lodges legal arguments to convince the Court of Appeals (a panel of three judges) to send the case back to the trial level for a new trial, or in some cases, a lower sentence. If the first appeal is unsuccessful, then your lawyer should press forward to convince the State supreme court, or in Federal cases, the United States Supreme Court, to accept transfer for another review.

At any point in the “direct appeal” process, if a panel of judges rules in your favor, the case is transferred back to the trial court for a new trial or new sentencing. However, if you do not prevail in the “direct appeal” phase, your case is far from over. The next level up on the pyramid is called “post-conviction,” and will feature in our next entry.

Jonathan Laurans wants you to be educated as to what you may be facing. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Arizona (or Missouri, Kansas or Texas), or in any Federal court, contact him immediately. Visit his website at www.AZpostconviction.com and then call him at (833) 421-5200 for a free initial legal consultation.