Oklahoma City Criminal Appeal Attorney
Sadly our justice system is a flawed machine: guilty people will go free and innocent people will be wrongfully convicted. Luckily, there are appellate procedures in place that wrongfully convicted individuals may pursue to rectify mistakes that often occur during the criminal process.
Anytime a person is convicted of a criminal offense in Oklahoma, it is advisable to pursue a direct appeal. Consulting with an experienced Oklahoma criminal appeal attorney can be the difference between spending one’s life behind bars and putting a false criminal conviction in the past. More information can be found here in regard to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
The lawyer for the criminal appeal may or may not be the same defense attorney who represented you at the trial level. A Defendant may keep his or her original attorney, or the Defendant may instead choose to retain an experienced Oklahoma City criminal appeals attorney. Often times, the errors which occurred at the criminal trial necessitate that the Defendant hire a new attorney to take an objective and unbiased look at the trial as a whole.
Common grounds for appeal in Oklahoma include:
- Legal errors –evidence that has been improperly submitted, incorrect jury instructions, and convictions based on insufficient evidence;
- Juror misconduct – members of the jury are admonished from discussing the case with other jury members outside the jury room before deliberation, they may not discuss the case with anyone until the verdict is delivered, they must refrain from watching news reports or other media about the case, accepting a bribe, failing to disclose information during voire dire, being intoxicated or impaired during the trial and/or deliberations, and sleeping during trial or otherwise failing to pay attention;
- Prosecutorial misconduct – admission of false testimony, willful omission of exonerating evidence;
- Ineffective assistance of counsel – failure to investigate, “opening the door,” failure to object to prosecution statements, failure to object to evidence or suppress evidence, giving incorrect advice, withholding a plea offer;
- New evidence – potentially mitigating evidence that could not be presented at trial or that is discovered post-conviction.
Still, not every error at trial is actionable. Legal errors which do not impact the verdict are considered merely “harmless errors,” and will have no effect on appeal.
Oklahoma Right to Appeal
There are many different contexts in which a criminal appeal in Oklahoma may arise. One may need to file an application to withdraw guilty plea or possibly wage a direct appeal from a conviction pursuant to a jury trial or an adverse ruling from a trial judge. Regardless, there are certain requirements that are specific to each situation and necessary to effectuate the appeal.
The Oklahoma statutes discuss a Defendant’s right to appeal as follows:
An appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals may be taken by the defendant, as a matter of right from any judgment against him, which shall be taken as herein provided; and, upon the appeal, any decision of the court or intermediate order made in the progress of the case may be reviewed; provided further, all appeals taken from any conviction on a plea of guilty shall be taken by petition for writ of certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, provided, such petition must be filed within ninety (90) days from the date of said conviction. The Court of Criminal Appeals may take jurisdiction of any case for the purpose of correcting the appeal records when the same do not disclose judgment and sentence; such jurisdiction shall be for the sole purpose of correcting such defect or defects.
The procedure for the filing of an appeal in the Court of Criminal Appeals shall be as provided in the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals; and the Court of Criminal Appeals shall provide by court rules, which will have the force of statute, and be in furtherance of this method of appeal: (1) The procedure to be followed by the trial courts in the preparation and authentication of transcripts and records in cases appealed under this act; (2) the procedure to be followed for the completion and submission of the appeal taken hereunder; and (3) the procedure to be followed for filing a petition for and the issuance of a writ of certiorari.
The scope of review to be afforded on certiorari shall be prescribed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
There are many nuances and guidelines that must be strictly adhered to when filing an appeal in Oklahoma. As such, the attorney you trust must be well-versed with the different requirements that go along with each appeal.
Possible Results on Appeal in Oklahoma
There are major misconceptions generally as to what remedies an Oklahoma appellate court may order. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals cannot summarily reverse a trial court decision and immediately rectify the harm to Defendant by removing him from jeopardy. The appellate court may reverse, modify, or affirm a judgment or sentence on appeal. If necessary, the appellate court may also order a new trial or resentencing by remanding the case back down to the trial court level. In such instances, the appellate court will usually remand the case with specific instructions to the trial court as well. If the verdict or sentence is affirmed, then the Defendant must turn his or her focus to other appellate avenues, such as an application for Post-Conviction Relief.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. There are numerous filing and petition deadlines which must be met in order for your appeal to proceed correctly. You need an experienced Oklahoma appeal attorney, and you need one today. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and get in touch with an accomplished lawyer ready to fully fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.