Experienced Hartford Criminal Appeals Attorneys
Fighting back against unfavorable verdicts and convictions in CT
If you’ve taken your criminal case to trial and believe the final decision was incorrect, you have the right to appeal. You do not have to give up, and the fight is not over. The appeals process allows you to request that a higher, or “appellate,” court review the ruling on your case made in the lower court. An appellate court has the authority to overturn a criminal conviction if the case warrants such a result.
To win an appeal, you must prove to the court that an error regarding your case – factual or legal – was made during the trial and that error affected the outcome of your case. In some situations, where the error is constitutional in nature, the burden shifts to the state to prove that the error was harmless “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The assessment of what errors occurred and the harmfulness of those errors requires the expertise of an attorney who specializes in appellate law and understands the ins and outs of the state court system. The criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC have years of experience in appeals and stand ready to help you with yours today.
What does a Hartford appellate attorney do?
An appellate attorney is a lawyer with experience handling appeals – a specialized type of law that requires extraordinary research, writing, and public speaking skills. Securing an experienced appellate attorney is the most important part of the appeals process and can impact the outcome of your appeal.
A trial attorney advocates for you in your criminal case by presenting the facts to establish your defense. In an appeal, however, your appellate lawyer presents errors made during trial to a panel of appellate judges. These judges review the record and assess whether or not these errors occurred and, if they did, how they affected the outcome of your trial.
Our attorneys review every last document and piece of evidence from the lower court when we launch your appeal. This means reading every court document, every single piece of evidence, and everything that happened in the courtroom before performing tremendous legal research to determine what errors occurred during your trial. The appellate attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella use all of the resources at their disposal to create persuasive, thoroughly-researched, and well-crafted appellate briefs to ensure the highest chance of success on appeal.
How do I know if I should appeal?
Unlike in Superior court, the standards of review on appeal vary based on the reason(s) you cite for the appeal. This makes it impossible to determine the likelihood of success on appeal without first reviewing the entire case. Should you retain our attorneys as both your trial and appellate counsel, they will have enough familiarity with your case to quickly advise you on the strength or weakness of your appeal.
If you lose a case at the trial level, you must make the decision regarding whether or not to appeal as soon as possible. Most courts have a deadline for filing criminal appeals, typically within 20 days from the court’s judgment or order. A knowledgeable appellate lawyer can help you preserve your rights to file an appeal as well as properly file any necessary motions beneficial to your case.
What are reasons an attorney might file an appeal?
After consulting with you on your case, our attorneys work on crafting a thorough and inclusive brief for the appellate court that lays out the reasons why the lower court’s judgement was incorrect. Our attorneys use their extensive research and knowledge of the law to put forward a strong and convincing argument in your defense. In prior appeals, our attorneys have cited errors regarding:
- Applications and interpretations of the law
- Insufficient evidence to uphold a conviction
- Legal statements made by the prosecution or the judge
- Jury instructions or misconduct
- Rulings on admissibility of evidence
Your attorney then submits the brief to a panel of appellate judges and then presents an oral argument to the panel. After deliberation, typically a few months later depending upon their caseload, the court will issue a written opinion on your case.
How a Hartford appeals attorney from Barry, Barall & Spinella can help
Trial proceedings and appellate proceedings have different audiences – one is a jury of your peers or a single judge, while the other is a panel of judges. Accordingly, they each require different presentations of a case. For example, when you file an appeal, you are not submitting new evidence or speaking with new witnesses. Instead, you are relying upon and presenting arguments related to the evidence submitted during your initial trial.
These differences matter, and a seasoned appellate attorney knows how to preserve errors from an initial trial that can be presented during an appeal. Important appellate issues can be ignored or waived by trial counsel if they do not know how to properly preserve them for appeal. This is another reason why hiring the attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella for both your initial trial and your appeal is beneficial. If the outcome in the lower court is unfavorable, we already have the evidence preserved for use during your appeal.
The criminal appeals lawyers at Barry, Barall & Spinella bring a unique legal perspective to the table. Our team of attorneys can represent you efficiently, effectively and strategically both at the trial and appellate levels. We will stop at nothing to ensure your trial is, and was, fair.
An appeal can challenge either the conviction or the sentence. If you win your appeal, you may be eligible to secure a new trial or have the conviction against you dismissed. Remember, being convicted of a crime doesn’t mean you’ve lost your fight. Our appeals attorneys will sit down with you to determine your chances for a successful appeal and present your case with legal expertise and professionalism.
Specialized Hartford criminal appeals attorneys
If you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to appeal your case in front of a state appellate court. However, you must act fast. Fighting a criminal conviction is time-sensitive and complex, but the appeals lawyers at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC are here to guide you through the process. Talk to us today. We’re located minutes off I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a free consultation with one of our appellate lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.