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After a criminal conviction there is a limited period of time in which to file a Notice of Appeal. Thus, time is of the essence. Once this window passes, you may forfeit the right to appeal your case. There are 60 days in which to file a Notice of Appeal for a felony conviction.
An appeal is not a re-trial of the facts. Instead, appeals involve a review of the record for mistakes of law. Mistakes of law usually involve something that occurred at trial which rendered the process unfair. For example, perhaps the court allowed in a piece of evidence which was more prejudicial than probative. Perhaps a jury instruction was given in such a way that violated the defendant's right to due process. Perhaps the defense attorney's performance was so poor that the defendant was deprived of the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. Perhaps the prosecutor employed arguments which rendered the trial fundamentally unfair.
A review of the record to discover mistakes of law in a criminal appeal in California is limited to the four corners of the record. Once we are retained to do an appeal, the first thing we will do is to get the record and make sure that it is complete. Next we will conduct a thorough review of the record to spot any and all issues which arise. Legal research and experience guide us as to what issues may be winners. An Opening Brief will be filed with the Appellate Court of the District of the conviction. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of California will respond with a Respondent's Brief. We will have the final say with a Reply Brief. And Oral Arguments follow. Finally, the Court of Appeal will issue an opinion.
The Law Offices of Scott Bentley has experience filing and winning appeals in California Courts.