The Basics of Criminal Appeals Law

Published on: 01 July 2019 Last Updated on: 08 December 2023
Criminal Appeals Law

In this article, we want to quickly look at the subject of criminal appeal and the laws that govern it. We are not approaching it like a law school course addressed at lawyers but as a general informative content meant for those who may not be so knowledgeable in legal matters.

Hopefully, the information we will share here however basic will help you get a better understanding of this process of criminal appeal and how you can take advantage of it should you be in a position where such an action becomes necessary.

The Basics of Criminal Appeals Law:

An Overview:

A criminal appeal is a process where an individual who has been tried by a court of competent jurisdiction and convicted for a crime decides to seek the intervention of a higher court. The purpose of this intervention could be to seek an overturn of the conviction reached by the lower court based on a few points that we will look at later.

It could also be to seek a reduction in the sentencing delivered upon conviction. In either case, the defendant is turning to a higher court so that s/he can get a more favorable outcome in the form of an acquittal or a sentence reduction.

When an appeal is filed, the higher court will go through the process that the lower court went through to reach its verdict. This means that there shall be no testimonies or submissions of fresh evidence. The decision of the higher court will be based solely on the recordings of the concluded court proceedings.

It is from this recorded process that the appealing counsel will point out the grounds of their appeal and it is also from these recorded proceedings that the higher court will reach its decision.

It is important to understand that it is common to find the higher courts in the U.S naturally favoring the decisions of the lower court. It will take some very clear infractions or errors to cause a higher court to overturn the judgment of the lower court.

Grounds on Which an Appeal Can be Made:

We mentioned above that an appeal has to be based on certain grounds. We will now look at a few of these grounds upon which a criminal appeal can be filed.

An appeal can be file if any of the following happened during the trial at the lower court:

  • There is a clear error in the interpretation of the law.
  • The verdict given is not backed up by clear evidence.
  • The ruling of the lower court bothered on abuse of its discretion.
  • The defendant claims that his/her representation was inadequate.

Any of the points above are grounds upon which an appeal can be filed. You should, however, understand that the appellate court must find evidence in the proceedings of the trial as shown by your attorney in your appeal filing that supports your claim.

If the higher court does not find enough evidence supporting your claim, it will be thrown out.

What You Should Do:

If you have just gone through a criminal trial and you were not happy with the outcome because you felt the process was somehow flawed, you could ask your lawyer what your chances will be if you were to take it to a higher court.

We understand that it is likely that your attorney is the reason why the outcome of the trial was the way it is. If this is the case, then having such an attorney handle your appeal will not be a very smart move.

You’ve already made the mistake of choosing an attorney who could not properly represent your interest in court, do not make the mistake of having the same attorney contest this outcome in a higher court for you.

You can find a lawyer here with the experience to look through the records of your case and give you a candid opinion. There’s no point in spending time and money contesting a case that is certainly not going to go your way no matter where you take it.

What you need is a correct assessment of your chances. If it is seen that there are indeed solid grounds on which an appeal can be filed, you should engage the services of Criminal Appeals Toronto attorney with the required expertise, who knows exactly how to prepare your case to give you the best chance of getting a better verdict.

Bonus knowledge: Check out our blog regarding Criminal Law Enforcement

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Criminal Case In Knoxville

What Happens At A Preliminary Hearing Of A Criminal Case In Knoxville?

A preliminary hearing is a court proceeding that takes place before a serious criminal trial. For offenses by minors, preliminary hearings are not acceptable. On the other hand, in the case of an adult, the criminal charge is applicable, and it may result in 14 years in prison for a serious crime like assault or murder. If you have been charged with a crime, you should immediately consult a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Knoxville. We urge you to learn more from a criminal defense lawyer in Knoxville if you are a resident there. Introduction to Preliminary Hearing A preliminary hearing allows the court to evaluate if there is enough evidence against the defendant for a reasonable jury to convict if the judge orders it. If there is insufficient evidence, the accused will be discharged. In the majority of situations, this results in the lawsuit being dismissed. A preliminary hearing is similar to a trial, except it usually takes a lot less time. By calling witnesses and presenting evidence, the Crown Prosecutor will offer evidence against the accused. The defense counsel will have the chance to question witnesses called by the Crown prosecutor. The purpose of the Crown prosecutor is to persuade the court that there is enough evidence to go to trial. Preliminary hearings allow the accused to see the evidence against them and may assist in planning defense before trial, even though a few cases are dropped at this stage. They also show the strength of the case against the accused, which might help in the case's conclusion. The Best Way to Tackle Hearing in a Criminal Case If you have been charged with an offense against which it is possible to have a preliminary hearing, it is better not to choose only one hearing. This is because you're conceding that there's enough evidence to go to trial, but you're not admitting guilt. In addition, attending a preliminary hearing carries various risks; in other cases, such as if the evidence shows a more serious accusation, you may be forced to stand trial on both charges. Does Every Criminal Case inKnoxvilleReceive a Pre-Trial Hearing? No, if you're charged with a crime in Knoxville, you won't get a preliminary hearing unless one of these three things happens: For starters, if you are charged with a misdemeanor in Municipal Court, you will not be offered a preliminary hearing. Instead, the matter will be heard right away in front of a municipal court judge. If you lose your trial and wish to appeal, you can request a new trial, and the trial transcript will be treated similarly to the preliminary hearing record. Rather than granting a defendant a preliminary hearing, the Commonwealth of Knoxville indicts a grand jury regularly. The grand jury will next decide whether or not the defendant will be charged. In cases requiring long investigations by investigative grand juries, the Commonwealth may request to forego the preliminary hearing in particular circumstances and instead rely on the grand jury's presentment. The defense commonly raises objections to this motion. However, there are just a few options for challenging the use of an indicting grand jury. First, the defendant can still file a motion to quash in this case. So, most individuals charged with a crime in Knoxville are granted a preliminary hearing; however, this is not always the case. Read Also: Civil Cases Versus Criminal Cases: What You Need To Know The Personal Effects Of A DUI Case On Individuals: By Counsellors What To Look For When Researching A Criminal Lawyer? Criminal Law Enforcement

Common Car Accident Types Where A Lawyer Is Essential

From Collision To Compensation: Common Car Accident Types Where A Lawyer Is Essential

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of modern transportation, with data revealing startling statistics that highlight the prevalence of these incidents on our roads. In the United States, for instance, there are millions of car accidents each year, leading to a high number of injuries and fatalities. These numbers emphasize the importance of safety measures and preparedness should one find themselves involved in an auto accident. Amid the chaos following an accident, victims often face not only physical and emotional trauma but also complex legal and financial challenges. This is where the expertise of a car accident lawyer becomes indispensable. Securing fair compensation after an accident is not merely about filing insurance claims; it's about grasping the complexities of liability, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursuing legal action to ensure justice is served. A seasoned lawyer can steer through the maze of legal procedures to protect your rights effectively. As we proceed, we'll explore the five common types of car accidents where the counsel and advocacy of a knowledgeable lawyer are not just an advantage but a necessity for those seeking rightful recompense. Through their intervention, victims can hope to recover losses and focus on healing without the added burden of legal battles. #1 Rear-End Collisions: The Complexity Behind A Common Incident Despite their frequency on the road, rear-end collisions are anything but straightforward. They typically occur when the front end of one vehicle crashes into the back of another. This can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from sudden stops, and distracted driving to tailgating, or even slippery road conditions. The resulting injuries can range from minor whiplash to long-term spinal damage, depending on the severity of the impact. Establishing fault in these accidents often involves understanding the subtleties of traffic laws and driver duty of care, with most presumptions placing the blame on the trailing driver for not maintaining a proper distance or not paying attention. However, every case has unique factors that can complicate this assumption, such as if the lead driver performed an unpredictable maneuver or if there were malfunctions with one of the vehicles' brake lights. When seeking compensation, legal acumen becomes vital to managing the process of determining fault, especially when insurance companies are involved and injuries are serious enough to warrant a substantial claim. #2 T-Bone Accidents at Intersections: Sorting Through Liability T-bone accidents, often occurring at intersections, are severe collisions where the front of one vehicle crashes directly into the side of another, resembling the shape of a “T”. These crashes can lead to significant injuries and vehicle damage, making them among the most dangerous types of road incidents. Determining who is at fault in a T-bone accident can be complex, as it typically involves a scenario where one driver has failed to yield the right of way, possibly due to running a red light or stop sign or being distracted. Proving liability requires a close investigation and a clear understanding of traffic laws. In such cases, a lawyer becomes a key ally, possessing the expertise to sort out these challenges. They play a vital role in collecting evidence such as traffic camera footage, witness statements, and vehicle damage reports. What’s more, they bring experience in negotiating with insurance companies to ensure victims receive fair compensation for their losses. #3 Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups: Untangling The Web Of Responsibility When several vehicles are involved in an accident, the result is not just physical wreckage but also a puzzle of accountability. Multi-vehicle pile-ups embody chaos on the roads, with each collision triggering another until a snarl of metal and motion brings travelers to a devastating halt. These massive accidents can make it incredibly challenging to discern the actions leading up to the commotion and to pinpoint the responsibilities of each driver involved. With numerous parties, each with their own perspective and insurance policy, the situation often becomes remarkably complex. Given the multitude of potentially liable parties and the interrelated sequence of events that led to the accident, it is nearly impossible for an individual to manage the aftermath alone. This is why securing a legal expert is not just advisable but necessary. A skilled attorney can dissect the detailed aspects of the multi-car pile-up, coordinating effectively with several insurance companies to ensure that the burden of responsibility is assigned accurately and that justice is served in the knotted aftermath of such harrowing events. Read Also: Car Accidents in California- What Does the Law Say? #4 Hit-And-Run Incidents: Tracking Down The Culprit Hit-and-run accidents add a profound layer of complexity and distress to already traumatic situations. When a driver flees the scene of an accident, they leave behind not only physical damage and potential injuries but also a web of unanswered questions. To disentangle this web, a detailed investigative process springs into action. Authorities begin by gathering all available clues from the scene - think skid marks, vehicle parts, and eyewitness accounts. Law enforcement may also call upon surveillance footage or traffic camera data to piece together the fleeting moments before and after the incident. Amidst the investigation, those affected by hit-and-runs can find solace in legal support. An experienced lawyer becomes invaluable in such cases, providing guidance and advocacy. These professionals are adept at understanding the subtleties of the law and can be key in securing due compensation. They work tirelessly to uncover the identity of the hit-and-run driver and utilize uninsured motorist policies to ensure that victims receive coverage for their losses. The path to justice can be winding and uncertain, but with a combination of thorough investigation and skilled legal representation, the chances of holding the culprit accountable increase greatly. #5 Drunk Driving Crashes: Advocating For Justice And Compensation The traumatic impact of collisions caused by inebriated drivers cannot be understated. 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In these trying times, an attorney doesn't just serve as legal representation, but also as a steadfast pillar of support in the pursuit of justice and rightful compensation for those affected by the negligent acts of others. In the aftermath of a car accident, the importance of having legal expertise cannot be overemphasized. Dealing with the complications that arise can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to managing insurance claims, potential litigation, and securing fair compensation for injuries and damages. Individuals need to consider the extensive benefits that consulting a car accident lawyer can bring to their case. These professionals offer more than just legal advice; they provide a shield against the tactics of insurance companies and the legal mazes that can baffle anyone without a law degree. A car accident lawyer works to ensure that your best interests are represented, aiming for optimal outcomes that might not be achievable without their specialized knowledge and experience. Additional: Steps To Follow After A Car Accident Steps to Filing a Car Accident Claim in Waukegan Philadelphia Residents: How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You?

Uttering Threats Can Get You in Trouble with the Law

How Uttering Threats Can Get You in Trouble with the Law

Most people are familiar with the old saying that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The truth, of course, is that words actually can do a significant amount of damage, both to the person they are directed at and, under Canadian law, to the person who utters them. We tend to think of assault as involving physical harm to a person, but according to the Criminal Code of Canada, threats are considered a type of assault — even when they are delivered via text, email, social media, or simply an aggressive gesture. If the receiver chooses to contact the police, the sender can be charged with a criminal offence. In this article, we’ll explore the real-world consequences of words said in anger, and look at the options available to people who have unwittingly found themselves in legal trouble for uttering threats. What is a Threat? In the heat of the moment, people’s words can get away from them. But saying “you’re going to get what’s coming to you!” or “if you don’t shut that dog up, I will!” are actually considered a type of assault if the person you are directing your comments to receives them as a threat. All of the following are considered to be threats under Canadian law: Saying you will kill or cause bodily harm to a person Saying you will damage their property Saying you will injure, poison, or kill an animal owned by another person Even if you have no intention or means of doing anything, as long as you knowingly said the words and the person you said them to felt threatened by them, they can file a police report. This may lead to charges being laid, in which case you will need to hire a Toronto criminal defence lawyer to represent you in court. What are the Consequences of Uttering Threats? Being charged with an offence does not necessarily mean you will be found guilty. The prosecution will need to prove not only that you uttered threats, but that you did so with the intent to create a sense of fear in the alleged victim, and that the alleged victim received your words or actions as a threat. In order to mount a successful defence, you will need to prove either that your accuser did not actually feel threatened by your words, or that you did not say them with intent. For example, Toronto criminal lawyers who have experience with threat-related assault cases may try to show that the alleged victim did not actually feel threatened by your words, but has made their claim as a way of inflicting harm for other reasons. In some cases, assault charges involving threats are accompanied by harassment charges or domestic assault charges, so if you have been charged with this kind of offence, you should talk to a lawyer before deciding how to plead. Uttering threats can be punished by up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine, leaving you with a lifelong criminal record. Words have power, and loose talk about inflicting violence on others is taken very seriously by the legal system. While a good criminal defence lawyer can help you navigate such charges, the best defence is simply to watch what you say. Read Also: Criminal Case – Dos And Donts Civil Cases Versus Criminal Cases: What You Need To Know The Basics of Criminal Appeals Law