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Orange County Bar Association

When Can You Appeal a Court Decision in California?

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

You have been charged with a crime, you go to court, and a decision is made. You are found to be guilty by a jury of your peers. This scenario happens all too often but is nevertheless a hit to the gut that can take your breath away. Depending on the charges that you were found guilty of, you could be facing severe and prolonged jail time. What are your options in this situation? Do you have any other avenues to pursue?

The good news is that a guilty verdict may not mean the end of the road. You may be able to appeal the court’s decision. An appellate court can decide to reverse the lower court’s decision either totally or in part. 

Appeals offer a glimmer of hope, especially when legal errors were made during the initial trial that, if corrected, could have changed the trial’s outcome. But, it is important to understand appealing a court’s decision is not an easy task. It can be very difficult, which is why working with an attorney is advantageous in this situation.

If you were arrested for an alleged crime in Orange County, CA, you need the very best, most dedicated criminal defense attorney to help you protect your future and secure your rights. Our Newport Beach criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo can assist you during your trial and with your appeal. 

The Appeals Process in California

An appeal in California is a chance for a higher court to review potential oversights or errors that took place that affected your case. Appeals are not new trials. The appellate court’s role is to review a case to identify inaccuracies or mistakes that were made. They do not decide the facts of your case.

Only when you believe certain elements of your case to be true can you appeal the lower court’s decision. These would be:

  • There was insufficient evidence during your trial for a guilty verdict to have been reached. In this scenario, the appellate court will look at the record and make a decision on if there was enough evidence for the judgment or not.
  • There were legal mistakes made in your case. Here, the appellate court will allow both parties to explain their position. Then, the court will determine if irregularities did exist, which could have altered the outcome of the case, or if prejudice existed, which harmed your case.

Additionally, you may also be able to appeal other court actions like a probation violation or the substance of a plea. 

There are many different situations where an appeal may not only be allowed but the right approach to a specific legal predicament. Considering that the criminal justice system is complex, working with an attorney is the best way to safeguard your interests and to understand what your options are.

Speak to an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Today

For more information on the appeals process in California and for help with an appeal, please reach out to our Orange County criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo.

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