Legal Blog

Criminal Appeals: Can I Appeal a Juvenile Verdict?

Published on February 6, 2020

California has an alternative criminal justice system for minors. While the proceedings still take place in court, they are not the same as in a criminal trial.

Juveniles charged with crimes must go through several hearings. The last of these hearings is called a disposition hearing. That is when the judge makes the final decision about a juvenile’s fate. It’s a lot like the sentencing phase of a criminal trial.

Similar adults, a juvenile can appeal this final decision.

For more information about appealing a juvenile verdict, call Spolin Law P.C. today at (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation. You can also reach out online.

When Should Juveniles Appeal?

Since the juvenile justice system’s goal is rehabilitation rather than punishment, juvenile offenders do not have the same incentives to appeal.

However, there are scenarios when a judge’s disposition should be reversed. If the young offender is innocent, if their rights were violated, or if the court order is unacceptable, a criminal appeals lawyer can and should appeal the judge’s decision.

The Juvenile Appeals Process

Before filing a formal appeal in a juvenile case, it’s necessary to outline the different stages of the juvenile criminal justice process. At each stage, there are opportunities to contest. And in some cases, ask for a new hearing on certain issues.

The California juvenile justice process involves the following:

Intake

When a minor is arrested, their fate is initially decided by a probation officer. Depending on the crimes’ severity, a juvenile may simply be released on probation. The officer may also order the youth to be detained and recommend that the District Attorney (DA) file formal charges.

Detention Hearing

When the minor his detained, or when the DA files criminal charges, a hearing will determine whether detention should continue, or if the juvenile should be detained until the next hearing.

At this stage, a Los Angeles juvenile defense lawyer can contest the the DA’s petition and present evidence. If they are unsatisfied with the result, they can request a new hearing.

Fitness Hearing

In some cases, the DA may request that the juvenile be tried as an adult. For very serious crimes, there is no need for a fitness hearing because adult charges are mandatory.

During this hearing, the DA will present evidence as to why the minor should be treated as an adult. Of course, the defense can argue why the case should stay in the juvenile system. This is an extremely important stage of the process because appealing this decision is very difficult.

Jurisdiction Hearing

If the case stays within the juvenile system, the next stage is the jurisdiction hearing. Like in a criminal trial, this hearing’s purpose is to determine what actually happened. Both sides are allowed to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. However, the facts will not be decided by a jury. If the judge determines that the available evidence points to the juvenile’s guilt, the case will move to the next stage.

Disposition Hearing

During this part of the process, the focus is not only on how to punish a juvenile but also on how to treat or rehabilitate them. Another important difference is that a judge can decide to “set aside” or cancel the decision about jurisdiction. In other words, the verdict can be canceled if their legal team is successful at this stage. If not, the judge will determine the conditions of detention and probation.

How Can I Appeal My Child’s Verdict?

There are three ways to appeal a juvenile case. First, and while it’s not a formal appeal, your lawyer should try to get a new hearing if the judge rules against your child at the detention phase.

Second, if the judge rules that your child should be treated like an adult, you may file a writ with the Court of Appeals. This isn’t a formal appeal either, but it can delay the process and keep the case in the juvenile system.

Third, you can file an official appeal within 60 days of the disposition hearing. As with a criminal case, your appeal must show that a legal mistake hurt your son’s or daughter’s case.

There are many possible arguments to make in favor of an appeal. A lawyer may argue that evidence was improperly included or rejected, or that the authorities violated your child’s rights at any point during the process.

A California Juvenile Lawyer Can Help

When a minor faces criminal charges, their future hangs in the balance. With so much at stake, these cases require quick, thorough, and aggressive action from the defense.

If you or a loved one received a bad result after a juvenile disposition hearing, you must act fast if you want to appeal.

Call Spolin Law P.C. today at (310) 424-5816, or reach out online for help appealing a juvenile criminal verdict.

Categories: Appeals, Criminal Law, Juvenile Court

Aaron Spolin’s Book, Witness Misidentification in Criminal Trials, is Admitted to United States Library of Congress.

Published on February 4, 2020

This past month the United States Library of Congress admitted into its collection Witness Misidentification in Criminal Trials: Reforming Identification Procedures to Protect the Innocent. The book, written by criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin, discusses the dangers of witness misidentification, which is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the county.

Witness Misidentification in Criminal Trials book cover

Witness Misidentification in Criminal Trials book cover

The book summary detailed on the back cover is copied below:

    Witness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. Among former death-row inmates proven innocent by post-trial DNA evidence, more than half of their cases involved a mistaken eyewitness identification. And the problem is not limited to death-row inmates: a comprehensive 2012 study by Marvin Zalman, a professor of criminal procedure, concludes that up to 2,000 individuals are wrongfully convicted of felonies each year. Combating witness misidentification is perhaps the biggest step we can take to fight his injustice. This book discusses the problems of witness identification, shows how identification procedures contribute to faulty convictions, and suggests reforms that would drastically reduce the potential for misidentification. Aaron Spolin is an award-winning criminal appeals attorney and former prosecutor. He leads Spolin Law P.C., a firm that handles criminal appeals, writs, and post-conviction relief.

The book, which has a Library of Congress Control Number of 2019-919901, can be purchased at major booksellers, including here at Amazon

For more information about wrongful convictions or to speak with one of the attorneys at Spolin Law about a particular case, call us at (310) 424-5816.

Categories: Appeals

Can You Appeal a Conviction if You Plead Guilty?

Published on January 29, 2020

Most criminal cases end when the accused enters a negotiated guilty plea to specific charges. Unfortunately, many people who are completely innocent of wrongdoing end up pleading guilty because they don’t believe they can prove their innocence in court.

However, if you or a loved one pled guilty to a crime despite being innocent, the fight is not necessarily over. You can still file an appeal after a guilty plea, but you will need to demonstrate that the plea itself was not “knowing, voluntary, and intelligent.”

The window for filing an appeal is very short, and there are few exceptions. For this reason, if you are considering an appeal, you need to act immediately. Your lawyer will only have a few weeks to review your case file and show cause to file an appeal after a guilty plea.

With extensive appeals experience and a record of overturning unjust convictions, at Spolin Law P.C., we are ready to help you file an appeal today. Call us at (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation about your case.

Appeal Options After a Guilty Plea

In most cases, a defendant will enter a plea of guilty after reaching an agreement with the prosecutor. This plea agreement will usually contain provisions waiving your right to appeal on certain issues.

The provisions are binding, but in some exceptional cases a judge may be willing to allow an appeal to proceed even if you’ve waived your right to do so.

In general, an appeal filed after a guilty plea might raise the following:

  • The defendant was lied to about the consequences of the plea by his lawyer.
  • The defendant was under mental impairment when he/she took the plea.
  • The defendant was not informed of certain rights by the court.
  • There were other similar issues that relate to the validity of the plea itself.

It’s important to note that you cannot present new evidence in an appeal. The point of an appeal is for the appeals court to check that the trial court gave you a fair proceeding based on the evidence available at the time. Nor can you challenge a guilty plea conviction after based on an improper suppression of evidence, police or prosecutorial misconduct, or if a harsh sentence was issued.

So if you pleaded guilty to a crime, and then later learn of some new exculpatory evidence, your best option may be to file a writ of habeas corpus.

New California Laws Can Reduce Sentences after a Guilty Plea

Recent changes to California law make it easier for people to obtain sentence reductions after a guilty plea. These do not involve overturning the case but, rather, involve asking for a reduced sentence based on a new law or based on the behavior of the client after conviction.

Senate Bill 1437 changed the state’s definition of felony murder, so that only a major participant in the underlying felony can be convicted of murder for a death that resulted from that felony. The bill specifically allows people who pleaded guilty to receive a reduction or cancellation of their felony murder sentence.

Another law, Senate Bill 2942 actually allows you to by-pass the appeals process to obtain a modification or cancellation of your sentence. This law gives District Attorneys the possibility of requesting a resentencing hearing if they believe your sentence doesn’t serve the interests of justice. Additionally, you may file a petition to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and request a resentencing.

How a California Appeals Lawyer Can Help

If you felt compelled to plead guilty to a crime that you did not commit or that you entered an invalid guilty plea, you may still have options. California law gives you the option of withdrawing your guilty plea, appealing your conviction, pursuing a writ of habeas corpus, or petitioning the CDCR for a resentencing hearing. Regardless of what remedy best applies to your case, the assistance of an experienced appeals lawyer will be essential.

For a free consultation about your options after pleading guilty to a crime, call Spolin Law P.C. today at (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation.

Categories: Appeals

Spolin Law Hires Former Prosecutor Caitlin Dukes to Join Criminal Appeals Practice

Published on January 22, 2020
Spolin Law Attorney Caitlin Dukes

Attorney Caitlin Dukes

Spolin Law is happy to announce the hiring of Caitlin Dukes, a former prosecutor with a background working on both sides of the criminal courtroom.

Ms. Dukes, a former Deputy District Attorney, also has experience working in federal and state courts, including for Federal District Court Judge James Knoll Gardner and for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge J. Michael Eakin. Prior to working in the courts, she spent time working for the United States Department of Homeland Security, assisting in the implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 8 for National Preparedness under President Barack Obama.

As a prosecutor, Ms. Dukes handled hundreds of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, including multiple jury trials. She brings to Spolin Law her experience described above, as well as other experience working on the defense side, representing wrongfully accused criminal defendants as an Assistant Public Defender and then as a successful private defense attorney.

Ms. Dukes is admitted to practice law in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

For more information about Ms. Dukes or any of the attorneys at Spolin Law, call our office at (310) 424-5816.

Categories: Appeals

Will I Be Released if I Win My Appeal?

Published on January 17, 2020

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in California, filing an appeal could be your key to freedom. But the process isn’t as straightforward as you may think. One of the most common questions we get from our clients is: “Will I be released if I win my appeal?”

Unfortunately, the answer is often no. Although it is possible to obtain a provisional release from prison or jail while the appeal is pending, the final appeal order doesn’t usually make release permanent. In most cases, the appeal will order the trial court to give you a new trial or sentencing hearing–and if you’re successful in those proceedings, you can be permanently released from incarceration.

The appeals process moves fast in California. The success of an appeal typically depends on your lawyer’s ability to identify a serious error in your trial, quickly develop a legal argument in your favor, and effectively present it to the appeals court.

At Spolin Law P.C., we are highly experienced criminal appeals lawyers and our team has a proven track record of success in the California appeals process. For a free consultation about your appeal options, call (310) 424-5816 today.

Can I Be Released While My Appeal Is Pending?

California law gives criminal defendants the right to request their release while their appeal is pending. This enables them to avoid the hardships of jail and to spend time with their family while the justice system ultimately decides their fate.

According to California Penal Code section 1272.1, a court must release you on bail if you and your attorney can provide evidence that:

  • You are not likely to flee
  • You are not a danger to other people or to the community, and
  • The appeal raises a substantial legal issue

If the court grants your motion, they may temporarily release you on your own recognizance or set bail. If the bail they set is too high, your attorney can file a separate motion to request a lower amount. Succeeding in this motion is extremely important, because the appeals process can sometimes last up to two years.

A Successful Appeal Usually Results in a Retrial

The specific benefit you receive from a successful appeal depends on the legal arguments raised by your lawyers. The process and results will be significantly different depending on whether your lawyer files a standard appeal or a writ of habeas corpus. A habeas corpus petition will focus on obtaining your freedom directly, but an appeal is more complex.

Your appeal can result in the following outcomes:

  • Denial — In this case, your initial trial verdict and judgement remain in place and you’ll have to serve the rest of your sentence.
    Remand for retrial — If the appeals court concludes that the trial judge made a mistake in your case that caused an unfair disadvantage, they’ll order a new trial for you. This gives you a new chance to prove your innocence or to negotiate a better plea bargain.
  • Remand for resentencing — If the prejudicial error happened at the sentencing stage, then the appeals court will order a new sentencing hearing. You cannot undo your criminal conviction, but you can argue for a more lenient sentence.
  • Reversal and acquittal — In some cases, the appeals court may find that the evidence against you was legally insufficient for the judge or jury to find you guilty. In this case, the appeals court may reverse the judgement and vacate your conviction. This is the only scenario where an appeal directly results in your release.
  • Call a California Appeals Lawyer Today

    If you want to learn more about the appeals process, you should act fast and call a California appeals lawyer. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you only have a limited time to file an appeal. Once the deadline passes, you will typically not be able to file an appeal–although a lawyer may be able to file a writ of habeas corpus on your behalf. Winning the fight for your freedom after a conviction is never easy, but it can be done.

    Call Spolin Law P.C. today at (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation about reversing a California criminal conviction.

Categories: Appeals, Writs

Firm Files Petition with United States Supreme Court on Noteworthy Case

Published on December 12, 2019

Spolin Law has filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court, in Washington D.C., on a noteworthy case that implicates major Constitutional issues.

The October 2019 filing, termed a petition for writ of certiorari, seeks to have the court accept the case and overturn the conviction of the firm’s client, whose rights were violated in the course of his trial. If the court rules on the side of client, the decision will affect criminal defendants throughout the United States in both state and federal courts.

United States Supreme Court

Spolin Law’s petition to the United States Supreme Court discusses the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. Interior photo of the court is courtesy of uscourts.gov

The primary issue presented to the United States Supreme Court was whether an attorney for a criminal defendant may subsequently represent a witness against his former client. The issue relates to the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The Sixth Amendment, as interpreted by prior case law, guarantees criminal defendants the right to the “effective” assistance of a lawyer. An attorney whose representation falls below the standards articulated by the courts will be considered ineffective, thus violating the client’s Constitutional rights.

In the present case, a lawyer represented a criminal defendant while simultaneously representing a witness who was slated to testify against the defendant. Once the lawyer realized that he was representing both parties, he withdrew from representation of the defendant but continued to represent the witness. By that time the attorney had received hundreds of pages of discovery and had numerous confidential conversations with the defendant, including material that the witness could have used to conform his testimony to other evidence in order to make it more believable. The witness—a convict himself—had agreed to testify against the defendant in exchange for the prosecution’s dismissal of a separate attempted murder charge against the witness.

Aaron Spolin, who is admitted to practice in front of the United States Supreme Court, submitted the petition and is the primary attorney on the case.

To contact the firm about a criminal appeals or post-conviction matter, call us at (310) 424-5816.

Categories: Appeals, Criminal Law, United States Supreme Court

Spolin Law’s Firm Manager, Dionne A. Parker, Wins the 2019 Client Service Award

Published on December 5, 2019
Dionne A. Parker

Dionne A. Parker

Dionne A. Parker, Spolin Law P.C.’s law firm manager, has won the firm’s 2019 Client Service Award. The award, which comes with a $300 cash prize, was created to recognize members of the Spolin Law team who go above and beyond in their efforts to serve clients.

Numerous clients and other firm members have specifically singled out Ms. Parker for praise over the course of the past year. While she has a difficult workload—operating the administrative nerve center of the firm—she strives to make sure that each client knows how important his or her case is to the firm. This includes returning phone calls promptly, providing relevant case documents, communicating with court clerks and other agencies, and carrying out whatever other steps are necessary to assist the lawyers assigned to the case.

While Ms. Parker serves solely in a non-legal capacity at Spolin Law, she also happens to be a licensed attorney admitted to the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and United States Supreme Court bars.

Prior to joining Spolin Law, Ms. Parker served as an attorney at a prominent Washington D.C. law firm. She was also the Associate General Counsel for the National Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, an international nonprofit organization.

If you would like to nominate a firm member for the 2020 Client Service Award, please contact us via phone or email.

To learn more about the firm and the type of work we do, feel free to contact one of the firm’s attorneys at (310) 424-5816 or contact@spolinlaw.com.

Categories: Appeals

Using New Evidence on Appeal

Published on November 24, 2019

Pursuing an appeal to overturn a criminal conviction in California can be based on various legal arguments. But, unfortunately, it usually can’t depend on the presentation of new evidence.

Appeals are not a “do-over.” Your legal counsel won’t be allowed to re-litigate the matter by bringing new witnesses or other new evidence. Instead, the Appeals Court will determine if any legal errors were made that would necessitate setting aside the conviction and sending it back to the trial court for reconsideration.

The experienced criminal appeals attorneys at Spolin Law, P.C. can pursue all your legal options at a state level and in federal court to protect your constitutional rights. To learn how to best appeal your case, contact our Los Angeles attorneys for a free consultation by calling (310) 424-5816 today.

Legal Arguments on Appeal

Although an appeal can’t be won on “new evidence,” what you can do is find legal arguments to make a valid appeal. The more arguments that indicate rules and procedures weren’t followed, or judge misinterpreted the law , the better chance the appeals court will find an error and send it back to the trial court.

Depending on how significant the errors are, the trial court could be required to conduct a new trial. At that point, additional new evidence and witnesses could be brought.

Some arguments on appeal that deal with evidentiary issues are:

  • Failure to disclose exculpatory evidence – Criminal procedure rules and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires prosecutors to disclose any exculpatory evidence (anything that could show the defendant is not guilty) to the defense before trial. In other words, this is evidence that might be “new” to the defense. Failure to turn over such evidence is a serious violation of your rights, and if this occurred, your case for overturning your conviction is strong.
  • Improper exclusion of a witness – If the trial judge wrongly excludes a witness that your trial attorney wanted for your defense, you may have a right to go back to the trial court to get their testimony into the record.
  • Actual Innocence – The appeals court won’t accept new evidence, but if you can show evidence in the court record of actual innocence was ignored, or the weight of the evidence was against conviction, you might have a successful appeal. Also, if new evidence of actual innocence is found after the time limit to appeal expires, you may be entitled to pursue a “writ of habeas corpus.”

Pursuing a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Depending on your circumstances, you may find pursuing a writ of habeas corpus necessary. Unlike the rules for appeals, the writ process usually allows for arguments on issues outside the court record. In other words, mistakes stemming from your arrest, pre-trial, and trial that are in the court record can be brought up on appeal. But the pursuit of a writ allows for evidence outside the record.

A writ of habeas corpus, which in Latin means “produce the body,” is used to challenge your incarceration. The writ requires the state to show lawful grounds for your detention. It often alleges a violation of constitutional or statutory rights.

New evidence can be presented in a writ action.

Let Us Help with Your Appeal

Our appellant law firm has a record of success finding errors that benefit our clients. While we can’t use new evidence on appeal, we can find and make all the legal arguments that could win you a chance at a new trial where such evidence can be presented. Our attorneys, led by firm founder and former prosecutor Aaron Spolin, have achieved positive outcomes on a wide variety of criminal and appellate cases.

Contact us today at (310) 424-5816 for a free case consultation.

Categories: Appeals

What’s the Timeframe for Criminal Appeals in California

Published on November 9, 2019

Under most state and federal laws, a criminal conviction isn’t necessarily the end of the road. You still have options, and if you believe you were wrongly convicted, a criminal appeal should be pursued. But it’s essential to understand the process, including how long an appeal can take.

To protect your legal rights and for the best possible outcome, you need an experienced appeals attorney. The Southern California criminal appeals law firm, Spolin Law, P.C., understands the process and how to effectively argue on your behalf.

To discuss all your appeal options, contact us today at (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Timeline for Appeals

The criminal justice system is not only controlled by laws, but also by rules and procedures. The rules of criminal procedure set forth how criminal trials are conducted, so they are fair and protect your rights.

If there is a conviction, there are also rules that apply to appeals. These rules establish deadlines by which certain actions must be taken.

For example, after a criminal conviction in the Superior Court of Orange County, you must file:

  • Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the date of the judgment or order if a misdemeanor.
  • Notice of Appeal — Felony (Defendant)” within 60 days of the date of the judgment or order if a felony.

There are some appeal options with longer deadlines, and a court might be willing to accept a late notice of appeal depending on extenuating circumstances.
Failure to file your notice of appeal by the appropriate deadlines could mean that no matter how strong your case is to overturn your conviction, you may not be allowed to proceed. That’s why it is vital to seek legal help with one of our appeals attorneys.

Such quick deadlines to file a notice of appeal might suggest the appeals process won’t take long. But that is likely not the case. Once a notice to appeal is filed, a lawyer can request more time from the court to thoroughly review your case so that we can make all the arguments we find to win your appeal.

After Filing Your Notice of Appeal

After we file your Notice of Appeal, we can file motions for bail or release. If you meet certain criteria, the law gives you the opportunity to be released with or without bail pending appeal of your conviction.

Winning your release pending appeal is important because appeals cases can take one to two years to resolve. By being free during that time, you may be able to resume working and caring for your personal matters while your legal issues are resolved.

While your appeal is ongoing, we will be working on the legal arguments that could result in a successful result. We do this by scouring the record, including the transcripts of your criminal trial. As part of the appeals process, the Superior Court must compile and turn over transcripts of the court reporter and clerk. All documents and exhibits from those proceedings also must be given to your appeals counsel.

After a review of the record where we will find your grounds for overturning your conviction, we will file an “Opening Brief” to explain to the court the reason for your appeal. This is a lengthy procedure, and it’s important you stay in contact at every step in the process.

The prosecution is then allowed to respond. After that, we may have an additional filing, called a “Reply Brief,” which must be filed within so many days of the prosecution’s response.

Once the briefing of your case is completed, we may have an oral argument before the court, and then the court will decide the case. If we aren’t satisfied with the resulting decision, there are additional options, and all of these have deadlines as well.

Don’t Delay if You Need Help with an Appeal

Appealing your criminal conviction is a complex matter that requires experienced attorneys. If you fail to meet certain deadlines, you may not have a chance to appeal and be stuck with the consequences of your conviction. Those consequences could include incarceration, fines, and a permeant criminal record.

To understand your options for appeal and how long it could take, contact Spolin Law, P.C. by calling (310) 424-5816 for a free consultation.

Categories: Appeals

What Does Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Mean?

Published on October 31, 2019

If your criminal defense lawyer is in over their head or incompetent, you could be convicted where an acquittal or dismissal was possible or even likely. That’s why courts in the United States allow criminal defendants to claim ineffective assistance of counsel–either during or after their trial. When an appeal is made based on the ineffective assistance of counsel, you may be eligible for a retrial. When you make a motion for ineffective assistance of counsel during a trial, the court may allow you to hire a new attorney.

At Spolin Law, P.C., we can help undo the damage done by a subpar criminal defense lawyer. Our California criminal appeals lawyers will review what happened at your trial and determine if an ineffective assistance of counsel claim is possible.

For more information about appealing a criminal conviction for ineffective assistance of counsel, call us today at (310) 424-5816 for a consultation.

The Sixth Amendment Guarantees Your Right to Effective Counsel

The right to legal counsel originates in the sixth amendment to the United States Constitution. The constitution only says you have the right to a lawyer, but the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the right to a lawyer during a trial would be useless if that lawyer were ineffective. In other words, having an incompetent lawyer is a deprivation of your right to due process comparable to having no lawyer at all.

But lawyers–even the best ones–sometimes make mistakes. And since many of these mistakes are harmless, it wouldn’t make sense for a court to grant a new trial every time a defendant’s lawyer made a bad call. For this reason, the Supreme Court has developed a test for determining if a defendant has been the victim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Specifically, the test requires two elements.

First, the defendant must show that their lawyer’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness. If your lawyer commits an obvious lack of discretion or performs an act or omission that they cannot adequately explain, then they may have fallen beneath this standard. But if your lawyer can reasonably explain that what they did was part of their strategy, then the court will generally not second guess them–even if their strategy was flawed.

Second, you need to show that your attorney’s failures caused significant prejudice to you. This requirement is met only when the court finds that there is a reasonable probability that, if your lawyer hadn’t made the mistake, the case outcome would have been different. This means that you need to show that your lawyer’s incompetence was the primary reason why you were convicted–as opposed to the strength of the prosecution’s evidence against you.

You Need to Show That Your Lawyer’s Mistakes Caused a Bad Outcome

There could be several instances where your lawyer might have made a mistake, but it still wouldn’t count as ineffective assistance of counsel. For you claim to succeed, you need to demonstrate that your lawyer did something that no reasonable lawyer would do, such as:

  • Failing to challenge unlawfully obtained evidence
  • Failing to object to inadmissible evidence or testimony
  • Missing deadlines for motions
  • Failing to motion for the dismissal of a proceeding when the prosecution is clearly lacking enough evidence to convict you

You can make a motion for ineffective assistance of counsel during your trial if you feel that your lawyer is not performing their duties. Alternatively, after your trial and conviction, you can file an appeal on this basis. Usually, you only have 30 days to appeal a misdemeanor conviction and 60 days to appeal a felony. But there are other appeal options with longer deadlines, and if you had ineffective counsel at trial, a court might be willing to accept a late notice of appeal. For instance, if your trial lawyer did not tell you about the possibility of appealing, or told you they were appealing but then didn’t follow through, the appeals court may be willing to accept a late notice of appeal.

If the court grants your ineffective counsel motion during the trial, the court may appoint–or you may choose–a new lawyer, who may then request a new trial depending on how much damage to your case was done. If the court of appeals grants an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, the court may vacate your conviction and grant a new trial. If the ineffective assistance of counsel occurred during sentencing, they may grant a new sentencing hearing.

A Los Angeles Criminal Appeals Lawyer Can Help

Many defendants fail to take advantage of the many rights afforded by the criminal justice process. If you feel that your lawyer has been falling short of their duties, or that for any other reason your trial did not unfold fairly, you may have a basis for filing an appeal. Even if you are no longer in a position to file an appeal, you may be able to take alternative post-conviction action such as filing a writ of habeas corpus.

To learn more about your options for overturning a California criminal conviction, call Spolin Law, P.C. today at (310) 424-5816.

Categories: Appeals

Archives

Contact Us

Or submit for call back: