Criminal Appeal Basics

criminal appeal

A criminal appeal isn’t a rehearing or retrying of the evidence presented at trial. That is the most common misconception about criminal appeals. It’s not. A criminal appeal involves a different process than a criminal trial does. And, because it is different, it is important to understand the appeals process and how a criminal appeal lawyer can help you.

Types of Appeals

There are two types of appeals in criminal cases: a winter appeal and a collateral appeal. A winter appeal occurs when the Government requests a new trial based on newly discovered evidence that was not considered by the Government in its original case. Such an action cannot be brought by the Government itself; rather, it must be brought by a criminal defendant or his or her attorney. However, an appealing attorney may file such a motion on behalf of a client on their behalf. (This is also referred to as an “informal motion.”)

Likewise, there are two types of criminal appeals: criminal federal and state criminal appeals. Federal criminal appeals require that the evidence presented in the case meet the same evidentiary threshold outlined in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Federal criminal appeal forms outline the specific legal requirements of this requirement, as well as the procedures that must be followed to establish the basis for the claim.


In most criminal appeal proceedings, the Government has the burden of establishing the reliability of any evidence against a defendant. The burden of proof remains with the Government even in situations in which defendants present testimony that casts doubt on the accuracy of the Government’s evidence. The courts have been careful to avoid ordering a defendant to produce evidence, arguing that they should not be required to subject themselves to the same burden of proof as prosecutors do. Many state criminal appeals processes work much the same way.

criminal appeal

One of the most basic features of criminal appeal courts is the presence of an Appeals Court. In most state courts, this role is fulfilled by the Court of Appeals. However, some courts allow courts-initiated agencies or federal district courts-to act as the appeals court. Such agencies are empowered to grant certiorari, mandamus, and certiorari briefs, which are petitions requesting a higher court to review a lower court’s actions. certiorari briefs are required to be filed with lower courts after they receive the briefs, and the review will be conducted by the Appellate Court.


In addition to briefs, petitioning parties can also file written pleadings and, in many states, oral arguments as part of their criminal appeals process. However, in some jurisdictions, the Appellate Court may impose a time limit on when criminal appeal briefs must be filed. Also, criminal appeals briefs must be filed within a specific period after a crime has been charged or within a specified period after the arrest of a suspect. In a criminal case, the term of incarceration can be extended in some jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions provide for a limited stay in jail, while others provide for extended periods of incarceration.

Once a party files a complaint against another person or organization, the case moves into the courtroom. The prosecutor and the defence need to present their cases completely and accurately so that the appeals court can review them. There are some ways in which criminal appeal briefs can be submitted to the court. Many states allow briefs to be filed electronically. Electronic filing is a convenient option for many individuals, and many legal professionals are now aware of ways that they can electronically file their briefs online.

An appeals court allows a party to file briefs electronically, but the legal research involved in presenting such a brief must be thorough and accurate. If an individual does not have a complete understanding of the legal landscape, then they may not have enough information to adequately present their case. When a party is preparing a criminal appeal, they should consider hiring a legal research company to review the matter and make any necessary recommendations. The criminal defence attorney will likely have many contacts that can provide all of the information a client needs to obtain the best possible outcome.