When individuals in Iowa are accused of a crime, their first thoughts are likely how can they clear their name? Developing a strong criminal defense is an important and crucial step to take following criminal allegations, but it is also imperative to have a full perspective on the matter. This means considering all angles and what ifs. For example, what will the defendant do if he or she is convicted of the crime? Although it is challenging to think about being convicted of the crimes you were accused of, it is vital to think about what you will do if you are convicted. Filing for an appeal can be a very lucrative and important criminal defense action.
Unlike asserting a criminal defense action, filing for an appeal following an unfavorable ruling at the trial court level can only happen in certain situations. In order to establish grounds for an appeal, a defendant must demonstrate that the trial court made an error; thus, requiring the appellate court to look at the case and issue a decisions.
One should note that harmless errors, which are unfortunate, are unlikely to be deemed events that substantially impacted the results of the trial. Thus, they will not be grounds for reversing the judgment made by the lower court.
Operating under the assumption that there were more than harmless errors, a defendant should understand the basis for filing a criminal appeal. There are four basic grounds for an appeal. The first is that the court made a serious error of law. This is also known as plain error. The next is asserting that the weight of the evidence did not support the verdict of the case. The third basis is that the lower court abused its discretion when making an errant ruling. The fourth and final ground for an appeal is when a defendant claims an ineffective assistance of counsel under their Sixth amendment rights.
Working through the criminal defense process is never easy for a defendant; therefore, it is essential for defendants to become fully aware of their situation and what rights are afforded to them. The assistance of a legal professional could prove very beneficial, as this can ensure your rights and interests are protected.