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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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Los angeles Criminal Appeals Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | June 9, 2021
(Last Updated On: March 12, 2023)

Last Updated on: 12th March 2023, 07:47 pm

Criminal defense does not necessarily end with a guilty verdict or plea. When your conviction results from legal errors or an unfair or unlawful proceeding, you can turn to a California criminal appeals lawyer to seek a reversal.

What Are the Grounds for a Criminal Appeal?

The specific reasons to appeal differ by case, but common errors include:
*The trial judge’s failure to exclude unlawfully obtained, unfairly prejudicial, hearsay or other improper evidence
*The trial judge’s refusal to allow evidence favorable to you
*Convictions for actions not criminal when they occurred or conduct protected by the United States or California Constitutions
*Inaccurate or confusing instructions to the jury
*Failing to instruct jury on defenses or other matters
*Lack of sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
*Juror bias or misconduct
*“Double jeopardy,” in which you were previously tried or punished multiple times for the same crime
*Excessive or unauthorized punishments
*Ineffective assistance of counsel
*Prosecutorial misconduct, such as withholding evidence tending to negate your guilt or improper arguments to the jury
*Denial of the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses
Generally, an appellate court will not overturn a conviction if the error did not affect the jury’s verdict. Often, improperly-admitted evidence falls into this category when the jury would have convicted without the evidence. However, errors that denied you constitutional rights such as the right to effective assistance of counsel, cross-examination or an impartial jury, generally call for a reversal.

What Are the Steps in an Appeal?


The Notice of Appeal

To start, you file a “Notice of Appeal” in the trial court of your conviction. Your deadline is 30 days from the judgment if you appeal a misdemeanor and 60 days for felonies. If you appeal a felony conviction upon your guilty or no-contest plea, you must additionally complete a “Request for Certificate of Probable Cause.” The California court system provides forms for giving notice of appeal and requesting a certificate of probable cause.

Preparing What the Appellate Court Will Consider

A successful appeal requires an adequate and complete record of the trial court proceedings. In felony cases, the record consists of a “clerk’s transcript” and “reporter’s transcript.” The latter includes the indictment or other written charges, pleas, motions, written orders or rulings, the verdict, judgment, sentence and minutes from the court. In the “reporter’s transcript,” the appellate court sees the testimony of witnesses, arguments by the attorneys, statements during guilty or no-contest pleas, communications with the jury and statements during sentencing proceedings.
If you appeal a misdemeanor, you are not required to have a clerk’s or reporter’s transcript. However, as California criminal appeals lawyers, we generally recommend transcripts rather than agreeing to a summary of the proceedings. Without transcripts, you run the risk of omitting something you want raised on appeal.

The Brief

Using the brief, a California criminal appeals lawyer presents the reasons why the trial court erred in the proceedings. Preparation of the brief starts with a careful examination of the transcripts and other parts of the record for errors or potential ones. Legal research reveals statutes, cases and constitutional provisions that can support or compel reversal of your conviction.
Appellate briefs start with a procedural history of the case. This recites the charge, when you were charged, pretrial motions and other proceedings in the trial court. In the statement of facts, the appeals lawyer recites what happened and the evidence. If you appeal based on lack of sufficient evidence, the court will want facts presented in the most favorable light to the prosecution.
Once the appellant submits a brief, the prosecutor prepares a responsive brief to explain why the conviction should stand. Afterwards, you may wish to file a reply brief to address any new arguments made by the prosecutor.
California’s appellate rules limit the number of pages and words in briefs. Errors in formatting and citation of cases can diminish your credibility before the judges or justices who will consider your appeal. An experienced California criminal appeals lawyer takes care in an effort to avoid these mistakes.

The Oral Argument

During an oral argument, appeals lawyers speak to the justices or judges about specific aspects of the brief. At oral argument, we emphasize the strongest or most important reasons for reversing the conviction. Justices or judges often ask questions of the lawyers during oral argument. If the brief explains very well the issues on an appeal, an appellate lawyer might not see the need for an oral argument.

Can You Stay Out of Jail While Appealing?

You are entitled to be free on bail during an appeal of a misdemeanor. For felonies, the trial judge has discretion on whether to grant you bail. A criminal appeals lawyer seeks to obtain bail in these cases by showing you are not a flight risk and not a threat to public safety. Courts consider:
*The length of time you have resided in the community
*Presence of family members
*Employment, including in the community
*Whether you attended all court dates in the trial court
Additionally, appellants of felony convictions need to show a reasonable chance of success in the appeal. If the law is well-settled that you were properly convicted of the felony, you likely will not get bail.
Handling an appeal on your own opens you to missed deadlines and other mistakes. An experienced California criminal appeals lawyer is ready to help you avoid the consequences of a wrongful conviction and of errors in your appeal.

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