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Why Defendants Choose to Appeal


Appeals are a common topic for discussion among legal forums and programs that tackle issues of law and crime. It is also typical to hear this word in big cases that involve notable personalities or have been going on for a long time. If the case in question happens to be a crime of passion like murder, or if the defendant has done time from a previous conviction, expect to hear his or her criminal defense lawyer laying out plans to file an appeal.

Some people who are not familiar with the trial process may ask what makes appeals so vital to defense. They may wonder why the defense counsel will fight just as doggedly to score an appeal as if it was the trial proper itself. What makes appeals so important?

The Right to Demand

Some litigants may not be satisfied by the way their case was handled. They may argue that the facts were not properly handled by the courts, or that they were not provided enough time to handle out their counter-arguments and cross-examinations. Whatever the case, if the appellant party is proven right in their accusations, they are granted the right to appeal.

Parties privy to the case at hand have the right to appeal their case if they believe that it has not been handled properly by the current court that it has been assigned to. In some rare cases, this can also be used to call for a re-trial instead of just an appeal. It is up to the appealing party to find the evidence of sloppy case handling to make the appeal work, however.

The Decision Requires More

Filing for an appeal is more common for losing parties. Most cases that get covered by the media often find the losing side calling for an appeal to the results of the trial. Despite this usual trend, there are instances when, even if one side obtained a favorable ruling and outside observers believe that the trial was handled effectively, they will still insist on appealing the results. The winning party believes that the ruling was insufficient.

This is one of the rarer reasons why litigants file an appeal. In these situations, the appellant believes that the court could have handed out a much more severe penalty in the case of the prosecution, or could have added more concessions to the overturned charges in the case of the defense. An appeal of this kind often drags out a won case further and is not an advisable course of action unless the appellant has verifiable reason to believe that the final verdict for the case was lacking.

Expend all Means

Criminal defense trials are tough legal battles. More often than not they do not enjoy the benefit of having the public on their side of the argument, and they have to deal with a difficult case built against them. The defense has a lot of pressure to ensure that a positive outcome for the trial is achieved even if the burden of truth lies with the court itself.

Filing for an appeal is the defendant’s attempt at using all means possible to get a positive verdict for his or her case. He or she believes that there is still a chance that his or her case will be turned around if a higher judicial body reviews the circumstances of the case. To this end, the defense counsel will make sure that all necessary documents needed for the appeal are available, and that all arguments needed to have the appeal approved can be made.

Appeals are a vital part of the defense process. They make sure that defendants have another chance to prove their innocence in a court of law. Without it, wrongly-accused individuals will suffer from a mistake in judgment that is out of their hands.

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