When faced with a conviction, it can be hard to know what to do without proper guidance. To begin the appeals process for a criminal conviction in Michigan, a person can have their case heard by a higher court. Appealing a criminal conviction in Michigan is your right, but it may not seem that way when there are so many complexities to understand.
The criminal defense attorneys at White Law PLLC are dedicated to helping you understand the process and can help make it easier. This article will outline the steps for filing an appeal in Michigan for a criminal conviction.
Where do I Begin to File an Appeal for a Criminal Charge?
The first step to filing an appeal is to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney near you. By talking with a lawyer that specializes in appellate law, they can walk you through the legal process, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and provide you with legal alternatives that are best for you.
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What Will an Attorney Do to Help Me File an Appeal?
When appealing a criminal conviction in Michigan, be prepared for an arduous legal process. With the assistance of counsel, the appellate process can be seamless. Proper legal counsel will manage the following:
- Examine the trial record: Your lawyer will review the trial transcript, evidence, and court papers to look for flaws or legal grounds for an appeal. They will look for constitutional infractions, procedural problems, or blunders that may have influenced the outcome of your case.
Determine the issues that are appealing: Work with your lawyer to establish the precise legal flaws or issues that you will bring up on appeal. These could include mistakes in jury instructions, inappropriate evidence admission, incompetent counsel, or infringement of your constitutional rights.
- File a notice of appeal: Within the time frame specified, your attorney will draft and file a notice of appeal with the relevant appellate court. If you do not fulfill this deadline, you may lose your opportunity to appeal.
- Prepare the appellate brief: Your attorney will create an appellate brief detailing the legal arguments, citing relevant case law, and making a compelling case for why the lower court’s decision should be reversed or modified. The appellate court will receive this paper.
- Oral argument: In some situations, the appellate court may arrange an oral argument in which your lawyer will present your case to a panel of judges. This gives them the opportunity to respond to any questions or concerns mentioned by the court.
How Long does It Take to File an Appeal for a Criminal Charge?
Various factors, such as the complexity of your case, the jurisdiction, the appellate court’s process, rules, and caseload, can impact the timeline for appealing a criminal conviction in Michigan. There is no definite timeline on how to appeal a Michigan criminal conviction quickly, but the length of time for each step in the criminal appeals process generally includes:
The initial step is to submit a notice of appeal to the proper appellate court. This is usually the Michigan Court of Appeals, but an attorney can verify which court and manage this on your behalf. The notice must be filed within 42 days following the entry of the contested judgment or order.
Case Record Preparation
Following filing the notice of appeal, the trial court clerk will construct the case record, which will include the trial transcript, evidence, and other pertinent documents. Depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of the record, this process may span several weeks or months.
Once the record has been prepared, the appellant (the party appealing) has a certain amount of time, usually 56 days, to file their initial brief. The appellee (the opposing party) is then given time to write a response brief. The appellant may also be able to file a rebuttal brief.
The appellate court has the authority to schedule an oral argument in which the parties present their case to a panel of justices. Oral arguments are not required in all appeals. The court may decide the case solely on the basis of the briefs and the record.
The appellate court will issue a decision after reviewing the briefs, record, and any oral arguments. Depending on the court’s backlog and other factors, this can take several months or even longer.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Why Is the Court Unable to Hear My Appeal?
Due to technological issues or procedural errors, the court may be unable to hear your appeal in rare situations. The following are examples of why your criminal conviction appeal is unable to be heard:
- The Court will not hear your appeal if you do not file it within the time frame specified by court rule or statute.
- If you make a claim of appeal when you were not given a right of appeal, the Court will not hear your appeal.
- The Court of Appeals cannot hear an appeal from an order that should be appealed to the circuit court.
You should collaborate with your attorney to ensure that all documents and deadlines are followed and that the appellate court is properly notified of your intent to appeal.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Finding a Defense Lawyer for a Criminal Conviction Appeal
Contact a defense attorney to handle your Michigan criminal conviction appeal. Factors such as the specifics of your case and your personal preferences should be used as decision markers. To identify an experienced and respected appellate attorney, consider:
- Client reviews: Begin by completing online research and reading reviews or testimonials from prior customers. Look for attorneys specializing in appellate law and with a proven track record of resolving criminal appeals.
- Referrals: Seek advice from credible sources, such as other attorneys, acquaintances, or family members who may have handled criminal appeals or know good appellate lawyers.
- Bar associations: For recommendations on appellate lawyers, get in touch with your local or state bar association. They frequently feature directories or reference services where you can locate competent attorneys in your area.
- Consultations: Arrange meetings with prospective lawyers to discuss your case and assess their level of knowledge, practical experience, and strategy for dealing with criminal appeals. Inquire during these sessions about their track record, specific experience with cases just like yours, and approach to handling your appeal.
- Track record: Consider an attorney’s credentials, including their schooling, years of experience, and whether or not they are board-certified in appellate law or hold any other pertinent certifications, as well as their experience.
- Alignment: Evaluate your level of comfort and communication with the lawyer when it comes to compatibility. You need a lawyer who will take the time to hear your worries, thoroughly explain the legal procedure, and also make you feel at ease and confident in their skills.
It’s important to keep in mind that the ideal criminal defense lawyer for your conviction appeal is the one you feel can effectively represent your interests, has expertise in cases comparable to yours, and has a good background in appellate law.
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