Most of our readers probably know that the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved with a plea bargain. This occurs when an evaluation of the criminal defense options leads the defendant to believe that the chances of success in a criminal trial simply are not very good, based on the evidence. However, many cases do go to trial, either in front of a judge as the fact-finder or in front of a jury.
In jury trials, in particular, it can be very difficult to try to guess what the end result will be. Juries are made up of several members of the local community, all of whom have had different life experiences than the criminal defendant. When the members of the jury are being selected, the trait that many criminal defense attorneys covet the most is the ability to remain impartial -- to listen to all of the evidence that is presented with an open mind and no preconceived notions of the defendant's guilt or innocence.
The problem is, however, that sometimes the criminal trial doesn't go as planned -- it ends with a conviction. But, that doesn't necessarily have to be the end of the case. All defendants who have their case presented in a criminal trial have the right to appeal.
Criminal appeals involve submitting written documentation, known as "briefs," to an appellate-level court for review of the case. These briefs need to direct the appellate court to the particular issues of contention -- where and how the defendant believes errors were made.
At our law firm, we help defendants who believe that the end result of their criminal trial was not correct. For more information, please visit the firm overview page of our website.