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Appeals 2018-05-14T15:50:36+00:00

APPEALS REQUIRE AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY

After being convicted and sentenced for a crime, it’s common to feel as though the odds have been stacked against you. But all is hope is not lost.  You have the right to an appeal. If in some way your trial or your sentence was unfair, you need to hire an attorney who can help you appeal.

To file an appeal is to officially request that decisions made by the court that tried your case, convicted, and sentenced you be evaluated and reconsidered by a higher court. Essentially, the purpose of appeals is to provide the justice system with a means and process for keeping its own courts in check. So if errors were made during your trial, you received an unexpectedly harsh sentence, or even if your probation has been revoked, you generally have the option to appeal.

Whether your case will be reviewed by the Indiana Court of Appeals or the Indiana Supreme Court, there are numerous different requests and resolutions you can seek. You may ask the appellate court to find that there was not enough evidence to support your conviction and acquit you.  You may ask for a shorter sentence or even transfer from jail or prison to work release, home detention or probation. Each appeal is different. This is why an attorney with decades of appellate experience is one of your most invaluable assets.

Even though trial judges have a lot of discretion in choosing a sentence, there are limits to that discretion. Whether incarcerated, fined, placed on probation or home detention, the severity of a sentence should reflect the severity of the crime, the unique circumstances and life of the individual who committed that crime, and nothing more. Although it is rare for the Court of Appeals to grant a resentencing, it’s not unheard of and your case might be one of those exceptions.

Sometimes, prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys make mistakes that can result in an unfair trial. For every court at every level, with the exception of the United States Supreme Court, there is a higher court holding it accountable. If there was misconduct or substantial errors during your trial, you need a seasoned appellate attorney to tell your story to the appellate courts.

The majority of sentences handed down by Indiana trial judges involve probation and many involve alternative sentences, such as home detentions.  Probation and alternative sentences can be overwhelming, with strict and even sometimes complicated, conditions. If a judge finds you violated one or more conditions of your probation or alternative sentence, the judge can send you to jail or prison. The good news is that probationers still have constitutional rights that must be respected. If your probation has been revoked, you have the right to appeal that revocation and the resulting sentence.

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