The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees an accused the right to representation by counsel in serious criminal prosecutions. If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime, finding the right representation can be the difference between a successful appeal, and a loss.
Anyone convicted of a crime has the right to appeal that conviction if they believe a legal error has occurred. In criminal cases, an appeal asks a higher court to look at the record of the trial proceedings to determine if a legal error occurred that may have affected the outcome of the trial or the sentence imposed by the judge.
If you are in search of a legal attorney, there are a few things you can do to ensure you find the best criminal appeals attorney possible. The first place to start is to ask your current lawyer for recommendations of appeal lawyers. While it may seem strange to ask your existing legal attorney for references, they will not be offended. Lawyers typically focus on one of two areas: trials, or appeals. A really great appellate attorney likely only specializes in appeals, and vice versa with trial lawyers.
Another great place to look is through friends and coworkers. If you have met others who have been through an appeal, ask them for their advice on appellate attorneys they have worked with in the past.
Once you have decided on a legal attorney, be sure to thoroughly interview the candidates. How long have they been in business? How much of your career has been dedicated to appeals? What is your success rate? The more information you are armed with, the more informed decision you can make about selecting your legal attorney.
Keep in mind the cost of an appeal can be extremely high, so calculate this into your selection of your legal attorney. Every person who believes an error has occurred in their conviction has the right to an appeal. Ask for recommendations from your existing lawyer, friends and family, or consult the web. You will find the best possible lawyer for you, and hopefully be on your way to a successful appeal.