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What Is a Criminal Case Appeal?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

November 5, 2018

When the jury says “guilty” and the judge bangs the gavel, many people believe the court case is over for good; however, a criminal case appeal can prove otherwise. Appeals are plausible, but that doesn’t mean every case is entitled to one. Therefore, it’s essential that all Florida residents dealing with the law know the grounds and process of appealing a case.

What Is an Appeal?

An appeal is when a defendant asks an appellate court to review the decisions of the trial court or lower tribunal to determine if a serious legal error occurred during the trial. If an appeal is successful, the appellate court will take action on behalf of the defendant. In other words, an appeal is a review of a case to ensure that the proceedings were lawful.

It is crucial to note that an appeal is not a retrial of a case. While an appeal can lead to a retrial, the appeal itself is not a retrial, but a review of the trial.

What Errors Are Appealable?

There are a variety of court errors that are appealable, but not all errors will result in reversal. For example, if the prosecution made an error, but the error had no perceptible impact on the outcome of the case, the appellate court will not reverse the verdict.

Therefore, the only errors an appellate court cares about are “harmful” errors.

Harmful errors are prosecutorial errors that may have had an impact on a verdict. For example, if the prosecution unlawfully calls a witness to the stand with crucial information concerning the case, the appellate court may overrule the final verdict since the witness’ information was harmful to the defendant’s case.

Need Help with an Appeal?

A successful appeal can result in a reversal of the verdict of the trial. After a reversal, there may be a retrial, or the prosecution may drop the charges against the defendant. In either case, a successful appeal can have huge implications on a case.

The appeal process is why it’s crucial that you hire experienced legal representation from the beginning of your case. If you have a criminal defense attorney on your side from the beginning, he will collect evidence and be more prepared for a possible trial and subsequent appeal. Therefore, it is crucial you get a criminal defense attorney involved sooner rather than later!

Need help with your case? Call (305) 330-1360 now for an immediate consultation!