State and Federal Appeals
State and Federal Criminal Defense Appeals Lawyer in Atlanta & Alpharetta, Georgia
The laws of cities, counties, states, and the federal government itself all define certain activities to be illegal and subject to punishment by monetary fine, jail time or imprisonment, and in some instances, even death. From a traffic violation to felony murder, crimes are defined in writing and have been voted upon and passed into law. Together, these form our system of criminal law, which is always evolving and changing with the times.
Our system of justice sets a high standard for the protection of the individual.
Criminal procedure is the process of enforcing what state legislatures and the U.S. Congress have defined to be criminal activities in this country as well as the scope of punishment applicable to each crime. Our system of justice sets a high standard for the government to meet, protecting the individual throughout the criminal law process. For instance, each citizen is presumed to be innocent of the charge; his guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; and his punishment cannot be cruel and unusual.
The appellate process checks for errors and protects the rights of the accused
Additionally, the decisions made at the trial court level are subject to review by higher courts at both the state level and in the federal system. At the very highest level, the Supreme Court of the United States reviews criminal cases to insure that there has not been a violation of an individual’s legal rights by the government.
When a criminal defendant has been tried and convicted of a crime, the next step for that defendant is to appeal the conviction to the appropriate appellate court. Sometimes, the appellate process can take years and years, moving through both the state and federal systems.
A wide range of mistakes in investigation or during trial can result in reversing a conviction
Violations of an individual’s legal rights must be zealously challenged, and experienced appellate attorneys can play a vital role in the ultimate vindication and freedom of an individual charged with a crime in this country. On appeal, judicial review can review legalities like:
- Was there a failure to give proper warnings before questioning by the authorities (Miranda violation)?
- Was there an invalid or illegal search under existing law?
- Were there police improprieties in the traffic stop?
- Was there proximate cause to search the individual? the home? the car? other areas?
- Did the police illegally exceed the search warrant?
- Was there an illegal wiretap?
- Did inadmissible evidence get admitted for consideration by the jury or factfinder?
- Was there ineffective assistance of counsel?
- Was there an error in sentencing?
- Was there bias or prejudice during the trial proceedings?
Appellate Counsel: The Attorney General for the State of Georgia
In Georgia, the Attorney General for the State of Georgia handles all capital felony appeals in both state and federal court, and represents the state in death penalty cases. The Attorney General files briefs and appears to provide oral argument in Georgia capital cases on appeal in either state or federal court, although the initial prosecution of these cases is done by the local Georgia district attorney. It is important to have legal defense counsel with appellate experience in Georgia criminal appeals when dealing with the government’s appellate team.
Our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys have significant experience writing appeals and arguing the law on behalf of convicted defendants before federal and state appellate courts. Our firm is also accomplished in pursuing post-conviction relief motions when the standard appellate process fails.
If you or a loved one may need the assistance of a Georgia criminal defense appellate attorney, for a case pending in either a Georgia state court or in a federal proceeding, then please contact our offices for an initial legal consultation. Remember that there are time deadlines that will apply to pursuing any appeal, and don’t delay in seeking legal guidance. We’re here to help you.