How do you make an appeal in the state of Utah?


If you have ever been convicted in a court of law, then you probably understand a few things about the appeals process.

Sometimes a judge may have been biased or made a mistake that resulted in your wrongful conviction. But if you are confident about your innocence, a Provo lawyer will help you file an appeal at the appellate or supreme court.

The appeal process is complex, protracted, and often confusing. That’ why many people find it difficult to challenge a ruling issued by a judge. Without experienced Provo criminal defense attorneys, it can be almost impossible to appeal a case.

It is however important to understand the basics of the appeal process to help you take the necessary steps in case you are convicted. Provo criminal lawyers will help you to file an appeal and ensure that you get justice.

There are three important aspects of the appeals process that everyone should understand. They include the structure, circumstances, and nuances.

Structure of the appeals process

Every state has its own structure of the appeals process. If you are convicted, it is important to understand the rules and procedures of the appellate court in your state.

However, the hierarchy for the federal and state courts is similar. We have the trial courts, intermediate appellate courts, and the supreme courts.

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If you are convicted in a trial court, then you have a right to immediately launch an appeal with the intermediate appellate court with a written brief.

In case the intermediate appellate court rejects the appeal, you can still launch another appeal with the state supreme court. But it is important to note that supreme courts reserve the right to decide which cases to hear and which ones not to.

Circumstances that necessitate the filing of an appeal

A defendant cannot file an appeal before a decision or conviction has been made by a lower court. It is only after a lower court has delivered its verdict that a defendant can initiate the written appeals process with the next court in the hierarchy.

You will definitely have to work closely with Utah County criminal defense attorneys to ensure that your appeal process runs smoothly until the hearing stage.

Below are common legal errors that warrant an appeal:

  • If the judge makes a mistake in any of his or her instructions to the jury
  • If the judge allowed inadmissible evidence during a trial
  • If there is no clear and convincing evidence to prove the guilty judgment

If any of the above errors are made during a trial, then the defendant has a right to appeal the case through the intermediate appellate court.

He or she can also proceed to the state’s supreme court if the intermediate appellate court upholds the ruling of the lower court. Most of the time Utah County criminal attorneys will try to exhaust all their appeal options before giving up.

Nuances of an appeal

The main reason why there is an appeals process is to reduce wrongful convictions. It is also worth noting that a prosecutor is not allowed to appeal if a defendant is acquitted.

Besides, a prosecutor cannot charge a defendant twice using the same evidence. This is also known as double jeopardy and is strongly prohibited by the constitution of the United States.

Why you need a Provo attorney

As mentioned earlier, the appeals process can be complex and confusing. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Howard Lewis and Petersen to increase your chances of overturning the initial ruling.

A criminal defense lawyer will closely examine the ruling made by the lower court and identify possible loopholes and errors.

Posted October 16th, 2020