Understanding Your Rights

You Can Appeal A Criminal Conviction

You were not only arrested, but you were also charged and found guilty by the courts. All hope is lost, right? The answer is no. If you have been convicted of a crime, you have the legal right to appeal your case. Though the process might be trying and lengthy, if you have been wrongfully convicted, appealing your case can help you clear your name and avoid false imprisonment and hefty fines and penalties.

Who Can Seek An Appeal?

Fortunately, the rules concerning filing an appeal are quite simple—any case in which there was a guilty verdict handed down is generally eligible. The legal system does not put any specific parameters on which cases have the right to file an appeal motion, such as age of the case or charge. If you have been wrongfully convicted, you have the right to file. Even if you are guilty of the crime, but you believe the punishment isn't equivalent to the charge, you can also file an appeal.

Types Of Appeals

New Trial

Every person has a legal right to a fair trial. If you believe you were not granted this benefit, you may be able to file a new trial appeal. With this type of appeal, you ask a judge to set aside the previous trial as a mistrial so that you can have your case retried. This type of appeal can also be exercised if new evidence supporting your case surfaces upon completion of the first trial.

Verdict Overturn

A verdict overturn appeal is one where you request that a judge change your guilty verdict to not guilty. This appeal keeps you from facing punishment, but doesn't clear the arrest and charge from your record. If you've been wrongfully accused, don't take this route. This appeal is better suited for someone who may be guilty, but has been subjected to an unfair trial in which the prosecution exercised extreme negligence, such as evidence tampering.


For those that have been falsely accused, a writ is the best form of appeal. In the simplest of terms, a writ is a process in which your verdict, charge and arrest are removed from your record as though they never happened. This process requires an appeal to a court that is higher than the court in which you were tried. For example, a guilty verdict in a county court would have to call upon a state-level court for a writ appeal.

Your right to an appeal is best exercised with an attorney on your side. An attorney such as Thomas A Corletta can help examine the specifics of your arrest, charge and court proceedings to determine which option is best.