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Criminal Appeals

Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

The Right to Appeal in Arizona

If you are convicted in a criminal trial, you have the right to appeal the decision. Filing an appeal does not involve a new trial or retrial; rather, an appeal calls for a review of the trial that led to your conviction. For the appellee (i.e., the defendant filing an appeal), the objective is to persuade the court hearing the appeal that there was some type of procedural error or failure to follow applicable laws.

Filing appeals in Tucson, Arizona

Appeals begin at the lowest level corresponding to the court that convicted the defendant and can work as high up as the Supreme Court (which is, technically, an appeals court for cases involving Constitutional issues).

If you would like to file an appeal in Arizona, then you will probably have to go through the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County. The Superior Court has four choices when deciding appeals:

  • Reverse the original decision and call for a new trial
  • Reverse the original decision and fully acquit the defendant
  • Affirm the original decision
  • Affirm the conviction, but modify the sentence

The Criminal Appeals Timeline

In order to appeal a verdict in Pima County, a defendant must file a Notice of Appeal within 10 days of the conviction. The trial court that convicted the defendant must then respond within 30 days with a record of the proceedings from the trial. The appellee then files a memorandum within 20 days. The Superior Court can also order oral arguments or accept a request from either party for oral arguments.

For more about what to expect from the appeals process, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tucson.

Grounds for Appealing a Decision

there are various possible grounds for appealing a decision:

  • New evidence has come to light that could reveal your innocence. Note: you will most likely have to also prove that this evidence was not readily accessible during your trial.
  • The trial was mishandled by the judge, jury, or prosecution or proper procedure was not followed.
  • Your criminal defense lawyer was inadequate
  • Your sentence exceeds the state guidelines. (While theoretically possible, this is a rare occurrence.)

In Arizona, if you plead guilty, the possibilities to appeal are restricted to special circumstances, such as situations involving involuntary pleas and sentencing errors. If you are considering filing an appeal, speak to a Tucson criminal defense attorney.

Contact D. Jesse Smith if you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Arizona, or are seeking an appeal. Call our criminal defense attorneys in Tucson at (520) 623-8343, toll free at (866) 675-8180 or fill out our online contact form.

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  • Tucson Office
    100 N. Stone Avenue
    Suite 801
    Tucson, Arizona 85701
    Phone: 520-623-8343
    Fax: 520-792-2139