If you were wrongly convicted of a Crime

You found yourself in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Before you knew it you faced criminal charges and were found guilty.

If you think you were wrongly convicted or sentence is not fair you can do something about it. You can file an appeal for your case. An appeal does not mean you will go to trial again it means your records will be examined to make sure the proceedings were conducted fairly.

When you appeal your case each party has to submit a written brief to the appellate court. All evidence from the trial and the court transcript will also be given to the courts. The arguments will be short and will focus on the legal issues.

When everything is submitted to the appellate court the judges will look over everything for major errors. They are looking for major errors to see if it may have changed the verdict that was handed down to you.

If you lose this appeal you still have a chance. You can next appeal to the State Supreme Court. If you fail here also then you can take your appeal to the federal courts. Keep in mind in order for the federal courts to accept your appeal you have to of had federal issues in your charges.

If you win your appeal it can now go a couple of different directions for you. If the prosecutor decides to appeal they will take it to a higher court. The prosecutor could offer you a less offense and want you to plead guilty and everything will be stamped time served. If you are innocent though, you can demand a new trial.

A prosecutor sometimes actually drops all charges against you. In the rare insistent the charges are dropped it is because the appellate court ruled that some evidence or confessions should not have been submitted.

An appeal can also be used if you have a probation or parole violation. Some states will have you file an administrative appeal which will be heard by the administrative law judge.

The thing you need to remember was when you first got arrested for the crime your criminal records started right then. If you never had a criminal record before, you will now. Even if you win the appeal and the case is dismissed and all charges dropped it will not clear your record. It will still be sitting there for anyone to look at. In order to get charges off your criminal record that were dismissed you will have to get the records expunged. An attorney can tell you how to go about the process.

Once the records are expunged, when someone does a search criminal records it will show your record is sealed for that case. This means no one can look at it for any reason. It does not matter if you are trying to get credit or even a job; the records are sealed so they will not be shown.