Michigan Criminal Appeals Attorney

Important points when filing a criminal appeal

  • In order to protect a defendant’s right to an appeal following a criminal conviction by bench or jury trial a form called a Claim of Appeal must be filed within 42 days from when the defendant is sentenced.

  • After the Claim of Appeal is filed the attorney waits for the record on appeal to be produced. The record consists of transcripts of all of the relevant court dates including pre trials, motion hearings, evidentiary hearings, all days of trial and sentencing. The court reporter can take up to 91 days to complete the transcript order.

  • While the record is being prepared it is important for the attorney to make contact with the trial lawyer, obtain a complete copy of the case file and begin a complete and thorough review of the case file.

  • Also during this time it is critical for the attorney to spend much time with the client to review what happened at trial and the conduct of trial counsel. Did the trial attorney listen to the client, did the trial attorney interview important witnesses, did the trial attorney ignore important leads provided to him by the client, did the trial attorney consult with necessary experts?

  • Once the record on appeal is complete the time comes for the defendant’s lawyer to review all of the transcripts of the case and discuss with the client a list of legal issues that are viable for the appeal.

  • Only once all of the legal issues are identified can the attorney and client decide what type of pleading should be filed first.

Mistakes happen during trials

  • Evidence may have been admitted at trial that should not have been.

  • The prosecution may have failed to turn over evidence to the defense that pointed to the defendant’s innocence.

  • The defendant may have been charged with the wrong crime, or was inappropriately charged with a crime that is more severe than the crime actually committed.

  • The judge may have provided improper or incorrect jury instructions to the jurors.

  • The trial lawyer may have failed to provide the client with constitutionally effective assistance, in other words, the trial lawyer may have failed to investigate a possible defense, may have failed to introduce important testimony or evidence or may have failed to interview important witnesses.

  • The sentence imposed was improper or miscalculated.

A criminal appeal allows the convicted person an opportunity to obtain justice. It is critical to hire a Michigan Criminal Appeals attorney who has the knowledge to find legal errors made by the courts and the trial attorneys.