My Lawyer Lost my Criminal Case and I Got Convicted -- Now What?
Criminal Appeals, Post-Conviction Relief, and Habeas Corpus
Overturning a conviction is not an easy task. Before you can catch your breath after hearing the awful word “Guilty” and reassess, deadlines are running, and running FAST. In federal court, you must file any post trial motions within 7 days after the verdict, in Louisiana State courts, prior to sentencing, unless based on “newly discovered evidence” which is governed by different deadlines and rules. If you wish to appeal, you must file your notice of appeal within 10 days of the entry of the judgment of conviction (entered directly after your sentencing) in Federal court, or within 30 days of rendition of judgment in Louisiana State court. FAILURE TO TIMELY FILE YOUR NOTICE WILL PRECLUDE FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CASE.
Not every error means that the verdict will be overturned. Were the errors preserved, in other words, did your attorney object and make a record at the appropriate times? Did your attorney properly investigate your case? Did you tell your attorney everything she needed to know to defend you vigorously? Did the judge make an error of law in his rulings or in the jury instructions? Did the prosecutor hide evidence that would have helped you?
Most criminal appeals result in an AFFIRMANCE of the verdict. This means the appellate courts have not found an error that would justify overturning the verdict. If that happens your only recourse is post conviction review. A post conviction case is considered a collateral attack on the conviction. The Constitution does not require appointment of counsel for collateral attacks. Success at the post conviction stage is even less likely than at the appellate stage.
Criminal trials, appeals, and post conviction cases are very serious matters. You must be sure to engage competent counsel with experience in criminal matters. Federal criminal procedure is very different from state court criminal procedure. Be sure the attorney you engage has experience in the charging jurisdiction.
*THE PROVISION OF THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT QUALIFY AS LEGAL ADVICE, NOR DOES IT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY / CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY ATTORNEY AT GOFF AND GOFF. ALL ATTORNEY / CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOFF AND GOFF ARE PUT IN WRITING AND ARE GOVERNED BY THAT WRITING.
(The law changes daily -- the newsletters, articles, and other information on this site may contain outdated information and should NOT be construed as legal advice or relied upon without confirmation as to their accuracy after legal consultation.)