When a defendant in a criminal case is found guilty, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost. In fact, there are several ways to fight criminal convictions in California. Below is an overview of two of the most common methods used to challenge criminal convictions.
An appeal is a challenge to a criminal conviction. When an appeal is filed, a higher court examines the decision of a lower court and determines whether any errors were made. If the appellate court finds that errors influenced the lower court’s decision, it can reverse it. This can result in a reduced sentence, a new trial, or a reversed conviction.
A defendant may appeal a conviction in the following situations:
- The judge made an error
- The judge abused his or her discretion
- The prosecutor or jurors committed misconduct
- Evidence was improperly admitted or excluded
- The judge’s instructions were improper
- The defendant’s trial attorney was incompetent
- The verdict was based on insufficient evidence
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a court order that instructs the authority holding an individual in confinement to bring him or her before the court and present a valid reason for continued detainment. In order to file a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, an individual convicted of a crime must first exhaust all of his or her legal remedies. In other words, a convicted person must first file all possible appeals prior to filing a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. The grounds for filing a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus are:
- The defendant was legally incompetent to stand trial
- New evidence has been discovered
- The defendant was convicted under an unconstitutional law
- The defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel
- The defendant was provided no counsel
- The prosecutor engaged in misconduct
- The law under which the defendant was convicted has changed since the original trial
- Evidence has been discovered related to battered woman’s syndrome
- The defendant is challenging the conditions of his or her confinement
San Diego Post-Conviction Relief Attorneys
Due to the potential consequences involved, it is important that anyone convicted of a crime in San Diego, California, seek the guidance of an experienced post-conviction relief attorney. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, our experienced post-conviction relief attorneys provide all of our clients with expert legal guidance in order to achieve the most favorable results possible. The talent and experience of our San Diego, California, attorneys ensure that our clients’ criminal appeals and petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus are handled expertly and with the utmost care. If you or a loved one is has been convicted of a crime in California and would like to pursue an appeal or file a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.