Picking up from where we left off in FAQs about Filing Criminal Appeals (Pt. 1), below, we will continue responding to some common questions that arise when people are considering moving forward with criminal appeals.

Q – When can criminal appeals be filed? What are the grounds for filing criminal appeals?

A – Grounds for criminal appeals are the legal bases for claiming that the conviction a lower court issued in your case was made in error. While people convicted of crimes (and who haven’t accepted plea deals in their cases) may be able to file criminal appeals, they can actually only move forward with this option if at least one of the following grounds for criminal appeals applies to their case:

  • At least one juror failed to abide by the rules of conduct during the course of the trial: Jurors typically have to comply with certain rules of conduct when a trial is proceeding. For instance, while jurors are expected to not discuss a case with others while the trial is ongoing, they are also required to be sober during the proceedings. When even one juror may have failed to abide by any of the rules of conduct for the trial, this misconduct can be grounds for filing criminal appeals.
  • A former defense lawyer did not provide adequate counsel during the first trail: In other words, a defense attorney failed to appropriately represent the defendant and, in so doing, impacted the outcome of the criminal case.
  • Some type of legal mistake was made during their first trial: While this can pertain to any mistake made with the evidence in the case (such as inadmissible evidence being allowed during the trial or critical defense evidence going missing in the trial), it may also involve misinformation being given to the jury or any other essential court procedure not being followed during the course of the case.

Q – Where are criminal appeals cases adjudicated?

A – In the Colorado Court of Appeals. In fact, when criminal appeals are filed by adults or juvenile defendants (or when civil appeals are filed for other matters), these cases are all usually heard by the Colorado Court of Appeals. If the appellate court’s decision is then appealed, then the Colorado Supreme Court may end up reviewing and issuing a ruling on the case.

Q – Are criminal appeals like the trial process?

A – No. Criminal appeals cases proceed far differently than criminal trials do. In fact, while criminal trials progress through court appearances, hearings and oral arguments before a jury and judge, criminal appeals are usually submitted through in-depth, complicated legal briefs that:

  • Must be prepared according to very specific guidelines in order for them to be accepted and reviewed by the court
  • Are reviewed closely by the appellate court judges in the process of ruling on the case.

In other words, for criminal appeals cases, you likely will not step foot in court, nor will your witnesses re-testify or your lawyer make oral arguments on your behalf. Instead, all of the evidence important to your case and your appeal will be in the legal brief submitted to the court for review.

Stay posted for the conclusion to this blog series that will be posted soon!

Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kohn Law Firm

Have you or a loved one been convicted of a crime and need help with an appeal? If so, the Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys at Kohn Law Firm are ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you pursue the criminal appeals process.

To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.


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