Chandler Appeals Lawyer

If you have been found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor in Arizona, you have the right to appeal your conviction to a higher court. If a panel of appellate judges finds that errors or omissions occurred in your original trial, they could reverse your guilty verdict.

A Chandler appeals lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can review your case for mistakes by the prosecutor or judge that may have contributed unfairly to your conviction. When your freedom and future are at stake, call our dedicated criminal defense attorneys to defend your rights.

Differences Between Trial and Appeals Process

Unliked a trial, in which a jury passes judgment, an appeal involves a panel of judges. Scheduled hearings are rare in appeals, and most arguments are presented in writing.

Often, arguments in an appeal focus on the violation of a defendant’s rights. A knowledgeable attorney at our firm can explain the three different ways of appealing a conviction in Chandler and help determine the best strategy for a particular case.

Direct Appeals in Chandler

After conviction and sentencing at a trial, an appellant and their attorney can file a Notice of Appeal, followed by an Opening Brief directed to the State’s attorney. An appellate prosecutor will be assigned to the case and will file an Answering Brief, to which the appellant can reply before the briefs are submitted to a three or five-judge panel.

Importantly, there are strict time limits set by the Arizona court in 16A A.R.S. Rules Crim. Proc., Rule 31.13, and the case can be dismissed if briefs are not filed by the appropriate deadline. For a noncapital case, the appellant must file:

  • An opening brief within 40 days after the initial notice is distributed
  • An answering brief no later than 40 days after appellant’s brief is served (if not served, the court can make a decision based on the opening brief)
  • A reply brief (if there is one) no later than 20 days after the answering brief is served
  • Cross appeals

The court can schedule an Oral Argument between the appellant’s lawyer and the State’s attorney if it deems it appropriate. The court then considers the errors at trial and can take up to a year to affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the trial court’s decision. Our tenacious local attorneys are experienced in filing direct appeals and fighting for convictions to be overturned.

Post-Conviction Relief Petitions and Plea Agreements

Our legal team can also help file Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) petitions for defendants who have accepted a plea agreement. PCR petitions are handled in the original trial court by the original judge and are submitted in writing. Oral arguments and evidentiary hearings may include both witnesses and the defendant.

Writs of Habeas Corpus and Federal Appeals

After all Arizona appeals are exhausted, a federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus can be filed with the United States District Court. Federal Rules of Procedure govern this type of appeal, including the types of claims permitted. Like the state appeals procedure, the arguments are written in advance, first by the appellate attorney and then by the State. Afterwards, an Evidentiary Hearing or Oral Argument may be scheduled. However, years can pass before the District Court decides the outcome.

Call a Chandler Appeals Lawyer to Protect Your Way of Life

Conviction for a crime in Arizona may not be the final say in a defendant’s fate. If there were mistakes in your trial, such as incorrect jury instructions or the omission of pertinent evidence, our lawyers can fight to overturn your wrongful conviction.

Our Chandler appeals lawyers are committed to upholding the justice system and representing those who were not given a fair chance at trial. We can scrutinize your trial to see if wrongful acts or omissions tainted your verdict. You have a way of life worth protecting, so call us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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