Appealing your DUI convictionIf you have been found guilty of a DUI and you are not willing to accept the sentence given to you by the court or have the conviction on your permanent record, you may be considering appealing the guilty verdict. An appeal is when you have a higher court review your case to determine if there is some form of legal issue that would invalidate the guilty verdict rendered by the lower court. First, if you are appealing your conviction, you should do so as soon as you can. There may be a limited time frame during which you can file an appeal, so you need to be sure not to miss that window. In addition, the appeals process generally does not happen quickly, so it is wise to get the process started as soon as you can so the appeal can be completed and you can begin to live your life based on the outcome of the appeal. During the appeal, the higher court will not review new evidence. Rather, they will review the transcript of your case, which is a word-for-word account of what was said during the trial, and all evidence submitted in your case. In addition, you will submit with the appeal a description outlining why you believe the original verdict was not accurate. (Likewise, the prosecution will submit a description as to why they believe the original verdict was correct.) Reasons why the higher court may overturn the original conviction include the following:
- Inadmissible evidence. Evidence was included in the original trial that should not have been. For example, if a blood sample was taken from me without my consent and without the police first obtaining a warrant, and the results of that blood sample were entered into evidence in the original trial, then the verdict stemming from that trial is not valid.
- Insufficient evidence. The evidence in a criminal trial must be sufficient to convince a person beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendants guilt. If the higher court believes there was not sufficient evidence to reach this standard of guilty, the guilty verdict will be thrown out.
- Deficient legal defense. As a part of your trial, you have the right to a thorough representation by an attorney. If your attorney did not sufficiently protect your rights and it results in you being found guilty, the appellate court may throw out the conviction.
- Errors by the court. During a trial, the judge gives various instructions to the jury regarding their responsibilities and what they can and cannot do. If the judge gives the jury improper instructions, it could result in the jury returning a guilty verdict that is not appropriate.
- Criminal cases and seeking an appeal (criminaldefensehome.com)
- Can I Get My DUI Reduced to a Lesser Charge? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- How do previous criminal convictions affect my current criminal case? (criminaldefensehome.com)
- What Happens To My License If I Get A DUI In Another State? (duiattorneyhome.com)