If you have been accused and then convicted of a crime, it’s natural to be concerned about your next steps. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be eligible to file an appeal. Talking with your Ohio criminal defense attorney is essential for you to understand how the appeals process work and what the timeline might look like.
The Ohio Criminal Appeals Process
If you have been convicted of a crime in Ohio, you still have the right to file an appeal even if the court found you guilty. You have to file your appeal paperwork in the District Court of Appeals location in which the conviction occurred. The state of Ohio has 12 total appellate districts.
The first stage of this process is for your criminal defense lawyer to file a notice of appeal, which informs the prosecution and the court of your formal intent to appeal the conviction. In addition to the notice of appeal, your Ohio criminal defense lawyer should also submit a request for the trial court to submit the record of trial-level proceedings and a docketing statement. Once the trial-level proceedings request has been processed, you’ll want a full transcript of it.
Your attorney will then get to work drafting the appellate brief, which is the document in which you make an argument that errors were made in your case at the trial court level.
What to Expect from the Appeals Process
Once your Ohio criminal defense lawyer has submitted the appellate brief, the prosecution submits a merit brief with their arguments as to why the original court’s decision should be upheld. At that point, your case will be scheduled for oral arguments. A three-judge panel hears the oral arguments from both sides, at which point they can ask questions.
5 Things to Know About Filing an Appeal
There are a few things any convicted party should know about how appeals work. These include:
- You cannot submit new evidence at the appeals stage.
- The purpose of your appellate brief is not to argue whether you’re guilty or not guilty; the legal basis on which the appeal is made must focus on errors made in the initial trial.
- Not every error of law is substantial enough to warrant a reversal of the original trial court’s conviction.
- The appeals judge panel has options; they can decide that a new trial be held or that the original decision be amended. There is no guaranteed result you should expect when filing an appeal.
- You need the right lawyer to help you with your case. One who is familiar with Ohio appeals should be retained as soon as possible. Appeals cases are different from original trials.
How Does a Judge Reach a Decision in an Appeals Case?
Once the case has gone through oral arguments, the appeals court judges will meet together to discuss the matter. At this point, most of these panels will release their decisions in written form, especially if there is a new precedent being established or a new interpretation of existing law. One of the judges on the panel will write an opinion; that draft is revised until the majority agrees. Any judges that do not agree with this decision can write a dissenting opinion.
Judges look at whether or not errors of law were made that could have substantially impacted the outcome of the case. With no new evidence being submitted, the facts of the case will be explored within the transcript. No new issues can be introduced outside of claims that legal errors occurred in the original trial.
The Bangerter Law Office Has Exceptional Legal and Forensic Experience
As a former prosecutor, your Ohio criminal defense attorney, Matthew C. Bangerter, at the Bangerter Law Office brings extensive experience in this field and a familiarity with how the prosecution team handles these cases. This means that you can work directly with your lawyer to develop a comprehensive criminal defense strategy with your best interests in mind.
Your future hinges on the development of a clear appeals strategy created by a criminal defense attorney. Don’t wait to get help with the filing of your appeals case; there are many reasons you might want to reach out to an entirely separate lawyer to handle your appeal, especially if you believe another criminal defense attorney did not represent you properly. Contact The Bangerter Law Office here or call (440) 409-7898 to schedule a consultation.
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.