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Appealing a Criminal Conviction in Georgia

So things didn't go as you hoped they would at trial. What now? In a criminal case, if you try your case and lose, you have an automatic right to appeal your conviction. Although you have a right to an appeal, you must take action to invoke that right and you must do so quickly. A Notice of Appeal or a Motion for New Trial must be filed no later than thirty days after you are sentenced, or you may lose the right to appeal forever.

Why consider appealing your case?

Ultimately, the primary purpose of an appeal is to determine whether you received a fair trial. In prior cases, for example, we have argued clients did not receive a fair trial because the judge or the trial lawyer made a mistake. If the mistake caused prejudice at your trial, the conviction must be overturned. Because most of the cases we appeal are cases tried by other lawyers, we look at the case with a fresh set of eyes and we may notice issues your trial lawyer missed.

What can you appeal?

A detailed and thorough review of what happened at trial combined with a strong understanding of Georgia law will determine what you can appeal. We meticulously comb through the record from your trial, including the transcripts of what occurred at trial, to create a list of possible issues to appeal. Sometimes those issues challenge a ruling by the trial court. Did the Court let in evidence over objection that should not have been admitted? Did the Court allow a witness to testify to something that was improper? Did the Court fail to properly advise the jury on the law governing an issue? Did the state fail to do its job? Did the state lack sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? These are just a few examples of the issues we have used to win appeals in the past.

Another avenue to challenge your conviction is to argue your trial lawyer made a mistake. The United States Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant a right to effective assistance of counsel. Even the best trial lawyers can miss an objection or fail to challenge evidence. These are called ineffective assistance of counsel claims. If your trial lawyer failed to adequately prepare a defense for you or adequately investigate your case, and you can show that the lawyer's failures harmed you at trial, you should receive a new trial.

Get an experienced appeal lawyer

At Speights Law, our appellate practice has handled over fifty appeals in Cherokee County and surrounding areas and achieved reversals of convictions on numerous grounds. We aggressively and meticulously pursue all avenues available to help you overturn a conviction.

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351 W. Main St.
Canton, GA 30114

Phone: 770-383-1450
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