March 28, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime and want to file for an appeal in California it is important to understand how an appeal works in order to get the best result. An appeal can be a very complex and slow process which is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable appellate lawyer to assist you.

Often times attorneys, jurors and judges can make legal errors in the procedural rules or laws during a trial. These errors can lead to innocent people being sentenced to prison. However, fortunately in California under Penal Code Section 1237 there are opportunities to appeal a conviction in order to receive a fair trial.

In general any individual will be able to appeal a trial court decision by taking it to a higher court for review. Yet time is of the essence, because if you were convicted of a felony crime you will have 60 days from the date you were sentenced in which  to file a notice of appeal. For misdemeanor offenses, you will have only 30 days from the date of your sentence to file a notice of appeal.

Your appellate lawyer will review all of the records in your case. This will include the reporters’ transcript as well as the clerk’s complete transcript. Your lawyer will search the entire record for possible legal errors that occurred during your case.

After your appeals lawyer reviews the record of your case they will file an “opening brief” which will explain in a comprehensive written form the different legal issues which your lawyer believes require that you be granted a new trial. Your appellate attorney will be looking at errors that may have occurred during your trial as well as during your sentencing. The appellate court has the power to reverse the guilty verdict and grant you a new trial. The appeals court also could decide that the sentence imposed by the trial court was legally incorrect and send the case back to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing.

A tremendous amount is at stake after a person is convicted of a crime. If you do not act promptly to file a notice of appeal then you will have given up a critical legal right.

Common errors and mistakes include juror misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, wrongfully admitted evidence, harsh sentences or incorrectly applied laws.

Due to the different opportunities and short window to file an appeal it is important to contact an aggressive and knowledgeable appellate lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. Our appellate lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience handling difficult appeals cases and will work diligently to file a timely appeal that will help you in your attempt to overturn your conviction. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at We will be there for you when you call.

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