If you have been convicted of a crime, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guilty of it. An error in how the law was applied in your case, faulty testimony from a witness or police officer or any other number of problems during your trial could result in a verdict that you don’t deserve. How can an attorney help you clear your name even if you have been convicted of one or more criminal charges?
An Attorney May Appeal Your Case to a Higher Court
It is possible that your attorney will appeal your case to a higher court in an effort to get a conviction overturned. In the event that a higher court is not willing to overturn the case right away, it may send it back to the original court for another trial. Assuming that the case is sent back, the appeals court may list the issues that it found and how they should be remedied.
An Appeal Could Go All the Way to the Supreme Court
You have the right to have your case appealed all the way to the Supreme Court if you feel strongly about your innocence. While there is no guarantee that the court will hear your case, it may do so if there is a compelling factual or legal question that it would like to answer or clarify further. In the past, the Supreme Court found that a person could not be taken into custody without first knowing his or her basic legal rights. These are now known as Miranda Rights, and you may have your case reversed or sent back for a retrial based on a technicality in your own case.
There May Be Multiple Parts to Your Case
If you are eligible for the death penalty, there is typically another phase of the case where a jury must decide if you are to be put to death or merely serve life in prison. An attorney may present various reasons why you shouldn’t die including remorse for your actions or the fact that you committed that crime in self-defense. It may also be possible to argue that there are holes in the case against you that could eventually prove your innocence. However, proving your innocence would be a moot point if you were executed, which may sway a jury to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Your Attorney May Help Seal Your Previous Record
If you were a minor when you were convicted of a crime, it should generally be sealed automatically. However, if it is not, your attorney may ask that it be sealed, which would make it easier to get a job, apply to college or even make it easier to vote. You may also be entitled to having a previous conviction sealed if you have served your sentence depending on the type of crime you committed. Furthermore, the fact that you were charged with a crime may be sealed from public view if you were eventually cleared of that charge or plead your case to lesser charges.
Anything That You Say Is Privileged
It is important to note that anything that you say to your attorney is privileged. Therefore, you could admit that you committed a crime and spell out exactly how you did it. However, your attorney would still be legally bound to give you a zealous defense and try to create reasonable doubt about your guilt. This is true whether you are trying to avoid a conviction or have already been convicted and are trying to clear your name or make your sentence as light as possible.
If you have been convicted of a crime, the legal process is not over for you. There is still time to appeal your case or take other steps in an effort to clear your name. With the help of an attorney, you will be able to take those steps and ensure that you have every opportunity to get the justice that you are entitled to under the law.