Common Grounds for Appealing a Criminal Conviction

Court decisions are not final. Just because you’re convicted of a crime doesn’t mean you have to accept the judgment when you feel that you were denied justice. There’s a second chance in appeal.

Appealing a conviction requires an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An experienced lawyer from Nash Law, Nashville, TN, will help you find factors in your trial that might present grounds for appeal. With an understanding of Tennessee criminal law, they might uncover mistakes that help in your appeal process.

Here at Nash Law, we help you identify some common grounds for appeal according to Tennessee criminal law and federal law.

What is Criminal Conviction Appeal?

All prosecuted defendants in Tennessee have the right to appeal. The process of appealing a conviction involves challenging the decisions of the court by arguing that some activities during the trial affected the outcome of the case. The defendant then requests that a higher court review the lower court’s decision for possible errors.

A successful appeal may overturn the conviction or remand the case back to the lower court. With new evidence, the judges can even give a different verdict after the appeal.

However, not every criminal conviction warrants an appeal. You must talk to Nash Law legal counsel to help determine if you have enough grounds to appeal your criminal conviction.

Some of the common grounds for appealing a conviction include:

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Your attorney is the best weapon you have during trial. They understand the law better and should always have your best interest at heart, even if they feel that you might be guilty. However, your attorney may offer ineffective legal assistance during your trial period.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees defendants sufficient assistance from legal counsel. When you appeal on grounds of ineffective assistance of the counsel, the court will look at the lawyer’s conduct and determine if it was indeed improper.

Inappropriate Admission of Evidence at Trial

You have the right to appealing a conviction if you believe that the evidence used during your trial was insufficient or was wrongly excluded from the case. In most cases, the appellate court doesn’t hear live testimony, documented evidence, or arguments by the lawyers. They mainly rely on transcripts or written briefs of the trial.

Your lawyer can argue that the judge allowed or disallowed evidence that might have led to a different verdict. You can present new evidence during the appeal process to increase your chances of getting a positive outcome.

Image is of a typewriter with a piece of paper that says 'appeal', concept of common grounds for appealing a conviction

Jury Misconduct

If the jury remains impartial or commits illegal behaviors that affect your case, you have the right to appealing a conviction. Jury misconduct means violating the defendant’s right to a fair trial.

Jury misconduct can take several forms, including discussing your case publicly, talking to the press about the specifics of the case, and performing jury service while drunk.

Constitution Violations

The Constitution defends the rights of everyone undergoing trial in the U.S., and any form of violation calls for the appeal of the verdict. If the defendants can prove that their rights were violated during the trial period, they can successfully appeal and have the court review the case.

Constitution violations can take the form of improper evidence obtained through wrongful search or seizure. Other violations may include false arrest, failure to give Miranda notice, long trial period, or impartial jury. With an experienced legal counsel, all these violations can be substantial grounds for appealing a conviction.

Prosecution Misconduct

You have a strong ground for appealing a conviction if you can prove prosecution misconduct. The prosecutors are supposed to be trusted agents of the court. However, they might violate the rights of defendants leading to unfair trial.

Some behaviors that constitute misconduct are when a prosecutor fails to submit all the evidence, tries to convince the jury of what they believe is the truth, or asks improper questions during cross-examination.

Legal Errors

Errors violate the defendant’s rights and affect the outcome of the case. Legal errors are also plain errors that may not be brought to the judge’s attention during trial. A common example of plain error occurs when a judge miscalculates the sentences, misreads the sentence, or fails to communicate jury instructions properly.

When you appeal a plain error, the court may remand the case to the judge for resentencing. At Nash Law, we believe that legal errors are strong grounds for appealing a conviction and will work with you to ensure the best outcome.

Let Your Lawyer Help You Find Grounds for Appealing a Conviction

Don’t go down without fighting when you have a high chance of getting your case overturned or resentenced through an appeal. Nash Law works with skilled and experienced legal counsel who understand common grounds for appeal and can find them.

The lawyers understand the rights of the defendants as well as criminal law. They know when your rights have been violated and will raise such grounds in briefs and arguments. Contact Nash Law today by calling 615-NASH-LAW, and let’s help you start the appeal process immediately.

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