When someone is faced with a criminal conviction in Washington, it is generally possible for them to appeal their case. This is the legal way of saying that you’re taking the matter up to a higher court. In so doing, you can request that they look over particular parts of your case to ensure that there are no legal errors.
What is the appeals process like?
Criminal appeals entail a process that’s distinct from a defendant asking for a new trial because they’re dissatisfied with the way it turned out. Rather, appeals provide a way of determining if any errors were made in the process of arriving at the conviction or the sentence imposed.
The person or party who is bringing the appeal forward is known as the appellant. It’s up to them to show the higher court where the mistakes were made. It’s important to remember that an appeal is not an opportunity to bring more evidence into the picture. New evidence won’t be considered because this process is solely focused on errors in the trial that already happened.
What happens if your appeal is successful?
If it turns out that the higher court decides you were right about the legal errors, you might be re-sentenced, retried or the case may be dismissed altogether. Keep in mind, though, that you usually only have a short time after the sentence or conviction to alert the government and courts of your intent to make the appeal.
The record that the higher court reviews in the appeals process include the transcripts made by the court report, which shows everything that was said in court. This includes the judge, witnesses and attorneys. Every object or document that was used as evidence in the case are also a part of this record.