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Battling a Wrongful Conviction: Where to Start


Wrongful conviction refers to the unjust sentencing of an individual for a crime they did not commit. This injustice could occur due to several factors, including errors in the legal process, false testimony, inadequate legal representation, or prosecutorial misconduct.

Addressing wrongful convictions is crucial for the individuals directly affected. Innocent individuals facing wrongful convictions suffer profound personal and social consequences while the actual perpetrators remain free to commit further crimes. Rectifying wrongful convictions upholds the principles of justice and protects individual rights.

The appeals process allows convicted individuals to challenge the trial court's verdict or sentence. Appealing to a higher court provides a thorough review of the case, with the appellate court having the authority to affirm, modify, or reverse the trial court's decision. This process offers hope for a more favorable outcome and the possibility of exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals.

Filing an appeal requires a deep understanding of the legal system and complex procedural rules. A skilled criminal defense lawyer, such as ours at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC, can provide invaluable assistance throughout the appeals process. We can navigate the intricacies of appellate law, conduct thorough case evaluations, identify potential errors or misconduct during trial, and craft persuasive legal arguments for our clients.

If you or a loved one is facing a wrongful conviction and seeking to file an appeal, don't hesitate to contact us at (937) 685-7006. We provide legal representation in Dayton.

The Appeals Process in Ohio

The appeals process in Ohio is a crucial avenue for seeking legal redress following a trial court's judgment.

Overview of the Appellate Court System

Ohio has 12 District Courts of Appeal, each handling specific jurisdictions. These appellate courts are responsible for hearing appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts. A three-judge panel typically hears and decides appeals, providing a comprehensive review of each case.

Grounds for Appeal

Appeals are based on prejudicial legal errors that occurred during the trial.

These errors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Evidential errors
  • Misapplication of the law

Identifying and articulating these grounds effectively is crucial for a practical appeal.

Steps Involved in Filing the Appeal

Initiating an appeal requires strict adherence to procedural guidelines. Within 30 days of the entry of judgment, the appellant must file a notice of appeal with the trial court clerk. Subsequently, the court record, including transcripts of proceedings, must be filed.

The appellant then prepares and files a brief, including a statement of the error and issue for review, relevant facts, and persuasive arguments. To facilitate transparency and fairness, it's essential to serve copies of all documents on the opposing party.

How to Get Started on an Appeal

Embarking on an appeal can be complex and challenging. Still, with the right approach, you can effectively navigate the process and pursue the justice you seek.

Consult an Attorney

Consulting with an attorney who manages appeals is crucial. An experienced appellate attorney can provide invaluable guidance and insight into the intricacies of the appeals process, presenting your case effectively and persuasively.

Identify Errors or Misconduct

This step may involve a thorough review of trial transcripts, court rulings, and other documentation to pinpoint any legal errors or misconduct that may have affected the outcome of your case.

Craft Persuasive Arguments

An appeal is not a retrial; appellate judges typically do not consider new evidence or witness statements. Instead, focus on demonstrating how the trial court's errors impacted the outcome of your case and why they warrant reversal or modification.

Understand Deadlines and Requirements

You’ll want to note timelines for filing the notice of appeal, obtaining the original court record, and submitting your appellate brief. Missing these deadlines can have profound consequences, including the dismissal of your appeal, so it's essential to stay organized and adhere to all requirements diligently.

Support for Those Pursuing Appeals

For individuals grappling with wrongful convictions, remaining steadfast and resilient is crucial. The appeals process offers hope for rectifying injustices and seeking rightful outcomes. The guidance and insights of a seasoned appellate attorney are beneficial when navigating the complex appeals process. A lawyer’s knowledge and experience can give you confidence as you manage your appeal.

Our Dayton team at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC advocates for clients’ rights and pursues justice for them. Contact us at (937) 685-7006.