In all criminal convictions (sentencing) and civil judgments (final orders), the non-prevailing litigant has an automatic right to appeal. Most appeals go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. With a criminal conviction at the time of sentencing, a defendant who believes he has been wrongfully convicted or received an excess sentence should most always appeal. This blog explores the two key reasons for seeking such an appeal, even in a case such as a revocation of probation.
First, failure to seek an appeal may well mean a conviction of an innocent person (on some or all counts stands) attaching a criminal history and perhaps incarceration. In addition, in some cases the sentence may not comport with the facts of the crime and mitigating factors and the Court of Appeals by its expressed rules may reduce a sentence.
Second, failure to appeal bars or limits many later post-conviction remedies. In fact, even if the Court of Appeals affirms the sentence and conviction, a defendant has to seek transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court or avoid federal relief that may be available later, such as habeas corpus. Thus, taking an appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals and seeking transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court are pre-requisites to exhausting ways to correct a conviction or sentence.
In the most basic terms, appealing a criminal conviction is just as important as hiring the right lawyer to handle the case in the first place. It is a key to correct an improper conviction or excess sentence and utilizing all available remedies post-appeal if unsuccessful.
This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle criminal cases, post-conviction relief and criminal appeals throughout the State of Indiana. This is not a solicitation for services or specific legal advice. Is general educational material, and an advertisement.