Appellate attorneys handle the “appeals process” which is designed to permit a review of verdicts, criminal penalties, and sentences, or civil monetary judgments (as well as dismissals and other rulings).
The appeals process is usually hyper-technical and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. An experienced appellate attorney will increase your chances of a positive outcome. The appellate lawyer you choose should have extensive knowledge of the appellate procedure specific to your jurisdiction. An appeals attorney is responsible for initiating and docketing your appeal properly, so your case is not dismissed on procedural grounds for non-compliance with the appellate court's rules.
Next, your appellate attorney should thoroughly research your case (both the facts and the applicable law), and determine the best legal strategy. Your appellate attorney should also provide you detailed explanations of the appellate process and the arguments to be lodged in your specific case. And most importantly, your appellate attorney sound thereafter writes persuasive legal arguments on your behalf, and ultimately present cogent oral arguments at your appeals hearing. Your appeals attorney should also be available to answer your questions at each stage in the process.
Your rights were violated by investigators or law enforcement
The prosecution broke rules pertaining to pre-trial and trial procedure
The court made rulings contrary to your rights
Your defense attorney neglected the duty to provide effective assistance
If any of these might have occurred before or during your trial, you may have grounds for an appeal or post-conviction case. Choose an appeals attorney who will put the law on your side.
So much depends on hiring the right appellate attorney. An appeals attorney should not only be experienced in the appellate courts but also should know the law and legal strategies specific to the crimes alleged against you. This suggests that a competent appellate attorney should also have trial court experience. The lawyer should be familiar with when evidence is “admissible” to be presented to the jury and/or judge. And, the attorney must be knowledgeable about objections to evidence, when and how those are voiced in court during a hearing or a trial. Be careful in how you choose your appeals attorney, because you have too much at stake. Your appeals attorney should be knowledgeable about the genre of crime you have been accused of committing. Successful appeals usually rely upon nuances in the law.
If your attorney isn’t qualified and doesn’t know the particulars surrounding your crime, the best arguments may be missed, and your chances of success will dwindle. You want and need a talented appellate and post-conviction attorney who can give good advice based on experience with your specific type of situation, be it a financial crime, a property crime, or a sex offense, or bodily-harm crime.
Before deciding on who your appeals attorney will be, you should begin your research by seeking out appeals and post-conviction attorneys who are licensed to practice in the courts within your region. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to the appeals and post-conviction practitioners you believe are most qualified to assist you, talk to each in person, and ask for writing samples. Inquire about previous cases. Make sure they are knowledgeable about the crimes with which you’ve been charged.