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The appeals process is an important part of a criminal defense

A criminal conviction can be tough to swallow and can certainly dash a person's hopes and dreams for the future. Those in California who have been convicted of a crime may feel that there is little they can do and that they must accept whatever punishment is thrown their way. Fortunately, a criminal defense doesn't end at conviction. The appeals process, though sometimes complicated, can continue the fight for a person's freedom.

No matter what crime a person is found guilty of, that individual has the right to appeal the court's decision. Appeals must be filed within a specific time frame, however. For those convicted in misdemeanor cases, there is a 30-day window, whereas, those found guilty of a felony are granted 60 days from the date of judgment.

There are two basic reasons to appeal a court's decision. These include a lack of evidence to justify the judgment and proof of legal mistakes made before or during the trial. If either of these circumstances apply, a Notice of Appeal may be filed. Along with appealing convictions, it may also be possible to appeal probation violations or plea agreement validity.

An appellate court does not review the facts of the case, but rather it simply reviews the trial record to see if any legal mistakes were made. While working through the appeals process can be complex and time-consuming, any time pursuing a person's freedom can be considered time well spent. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help California residents who have been accused of a crime through every stage of the process from trial proceedings to appeals -- if needed.

Source:, "Criminal Appeals", Accessed on Jan. 23, 2015

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results