Appellate Courts, both the first appellate court and the high court, review decisions made in the trial court at the request of a party. If no appeal is filed, the decision of the trial court becomes final. As a general rule, an appellate court will only make decisions on legal issues and does not take new evidence. Issues that are brought to appellate courts include whether the trial court properly included or excluded evidence, whether the trial court violated a right of one of the parties either by a procedural or legal error, whether the trial court correctly stated the law, and whether the trial court properly applied the law to the facts of the case.
Because appeals are usually based on legal errors, it is extremely important to hire experienced counsel for appellate proceedings, and it is also extremely important that a complete evidentiary record has been created in the trial court. An appellate attorney will review all of the transcripts of the proceedings in the trial court and all of the documents submitted in the trial court to identify any errors that can be addressed on appeal.
Appeals are extremely time sensitive. The failure to file an appeal in the time permitted for filing an appeal can result in a waiver of the right to pursue an appeal. There are certain issues that can still be addressed to the trial court even if the case is not appealed by motion or by writ. An experienced attorney can advise a client as to the best mechanism to pursue.
Berke Law Offices, Inc. is experienced with both state and federal criminal appeals. We are thorough in our analysis and the arguments that we present on appeal.