Oklahoma City Criminal Appeals Lawyer
Not every trial ends in acquittal.However, conviction of a crime does not necessarily demonstrate the administration of justice, nor does it signal the end of options for the convicted defendant. Post-conviction legal options include exercising your right to appeal a verdict or sentence. An Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney who is also a skilled appellate lawyer can file your appeal and illuminate legal errors or new evidence that may indicate a miscarriage of justice or a wrongful conviction.
The criminal appeals lawyer may or may not be the same defense attorney who represented you during your criminal trial. In many cases, the defendant keeps the same attorney or firm for both criminal defense and appeal. In other cases, such as a claim of ineffective counsel, the defendant is best served by hiring a new Oklahoma City appellate lawyer to handle the appeal. Regardless of the circumstance, it is extremely important that you hire an Oklahoma City appellate attorney who not only understands the complexity of appellate issues, but also possesses the ability and experience to rectify any legal injustice you may have experienced.
Grounds for Criminal Appeals
The appeal of a criminal conviction or a sentence is a statutory right. If an error or wrongful action at trial affected the outcome of the case, the convicted party may appeal. However, not all errors at trial are actionable. Legal errors which did not have an impact on the verdict are considered “harmless errors,” and will not result in a reversal of the verdict or an order for a new trial.
Most appeals are the result of errors or miscarriages of justice that affected the constitutional rights of the accused. Every defendant is guaranteed the right to a fair trial; if the initial trial was unfair and violated the defendant’s rights, he or she may be granted an appeal by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in state cases or the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in federal cases.
Common grounds for appeal include:
- Legal errors – improperly submitted evidence, incorrect jury instructions, insufficient evidence to support conviction
- Juror misconduct – discussing the case with other jury members outside the jury room prior to deliberation; discussing the case with media, the press, prosecutors, witnesses, or anyone else; watching news reports or other media about the case; exposure to extraneous information; conducting experiments or investigation; accepting a bribe; failing to disclose information during voire dire; intoxicated or impaired during the trial and/or deliberations; unauthorized view of the crime scene; sleeping during trial or otherwise failing to pay attention
- Prosecutorial misconduct – admission of false testimony, willful omission of exonerating evidence
- Ineffective assistance of counsel – failure to investigate, failure to object to prosecution statements, failure to object to evidence or suppress evidence, failure to interview witnesses or cross-examine them, giving incorrect advice or withholding a plea offer
- New evidence – potentially exonerating evidence discovered post-conviction
A miscarriage of justice defies the principles on which our nation’s judicial system is founded. It is YOUR right to a fair trial. If you were denied this right, contact the law offices of Phillips & Associates to speak with an experienced criminal appeals lawyer in Oklahoma City.
In handling a criminal appeal, time is critical. Numerous filing and petition deadlines must be met in order for your appeal to proceed. Do not hesitate to contact an Oklahoma appellate lawyer with the skill and experience to successfully handle your state or federal criminal appeal.
For more information or to schedule your free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney qualified to handle your appeal, call Phillips & Associates at (405) 418-8888.