“Is a criminal appeal the only remedy available to a criminal defendant? What if the time for appeal passed? Is an attorney liable if they don’t make the right arguments in a criminal case or put on the correct evidence?”
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. criminal appeal lawyers ply the waters that form the pool of answers to these complex questions on a regular basis, having briefed and argued such cases in the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court.
The reason the answers are hard, complex and not easy is simple: A criminal defendant may lose his life or be incarcerated for a lengthy duration. It is important errors be kept to a minimum because of the tremendous weight of these punishments.
As a threshold matter, criminals are protected and able to better prepare for appeal because they have the constitutional right to trial counsel (unlike civil litigants). If they cannot afford counsel, a criminal appeal lawyer will be appointed for them.
That is just the beginning of ways to ensure the integrity of the process and its outcome. A jury trial is another. But none compare to the fact the State has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. These are the protections just at the trial court level.
Nevertheless, no system is infallible, and particularly with modern scientific methods, many long-convicted criminals have been exonerated. For this reason, and even with modern forensics, a great number of other protections exists for criminal defendants that may be thought of under the umbrella of an appeal.
The first is the straight forward: a criminal appeal. Under Indiana constitution, an appeal of right is allowed for a criminal defendant. In such an appeal, the defendant may challenge the conviction and/or the sentence.
In addition, a defendant may obtain a reversal and a new trial by demonstrating ineffective assistance of counsel. Under the civil system, a litigation basically does not have this right; the remedy is to sue his or her criminal attorney for professional malpractice.
The majority of criminal appeals proceed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. If the conviction or sentence is affirmed, the defendant may file a Petition to Transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court. This is important with serious crimes because federal habeas corpus requires the issues to have been presented to the highest state court.
Given the harsh penalties, certain convictions and sentences proceed directly to the Indiana Supreme Court. These are cases in which a sentence of death is imposed or where life imprisonment without parole is the sentence.
Two rights that may be loosely thought of a criminal appeal of sorts and clearly outside the criminal trial process, are post-conviction relief and habeas corpus. These are extreme remedies, but nevertheless, undo or correct errors made in conviction or sentencing.
Where a criminal conviction has been issued and sentencing conducted, the time being to run for criminal appeal, although a trial court may also allow a belated appeal. Urgency is the key and any Indiana criminal appeal lawyer or person helping him or her with this process should act with due diligence and haste.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. criminal appeals attorneys may be counsel to consider. Research and make an informed decision. Life and freedom often hang in the balance and any legal course of action must be carefully considered.
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