Direct Appeal

Appealing a Criminal Conviction

A direct appeal is a challenge to the validity of a conviction or sentence. If you have been convicted of a crime with the potential for jail time, you have the right to a direct appeal. This means, if you meet the procedural requirements, the Court of Appeals for the county where you were convicted must hear your appeal and review the lower court’s decision.
Appeals are not trials. Appeals require a thorough review of the trial proceedings, an in-depth understanding of case law, and superb legal writing skills. Harris Law Firm, LLC reviews your trial proceedings for substantive errors and files the necessary documents to challenge those errors on Appeal. We have represented clients in Courts of Appeal throughout Ohio and will navigate the appellate process from the filing of the Notice of Appeal through the issuance of the appellate Opinion.

Appellate Advocacy

What is a Direct Appeal?
On appeal, a higher court reviews a case decided by a lower court.  If you believe a legal misstep occurred at trial and your statutory or constitutional rights were violated, you may have grounds to appeal to a higher court. Such errors might be evidentiary errors, sentencing errors, errors with jury instructions or prosecutorial misconduct.

What Can Be Raised on Direct Appeal
An appeal is not a re-trial. The Court of Appeals will not consider new facts or new evidence and if the issue was not raised at trial, it cannot be raised on appeal. Instead, the Court of Appeals will consider errors in the legal process, specifically, errors at trial which resulted in constitutional or statutory violations.

Choosing an Appellate Attorney for Direct Appeal
The appellate process begins with the filing of the Notice of Appeal. Generally, a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Sentencing Entry.

At Harris Law Firm, we review the entire record of trial proceedings, identify legal errors, and write sophisticated, persuasive Merit Briefs explaining your case and legal arguments to the Court of Appeals.  This process requires an array of legal knowledge, analytical skill, and critical thought. While the likelihood of success on appeal is fact specific, the value of an artfully-crafted Merit Brief cannot be overstated.

Our appellate attorneys are also practiced oral advocates; flexible yet focused enough to answer questions from the bench while accenting the most salient issues of the case.

If you were recently convicted and want to appeal your conviction, contact Harris Law Firm for a consultation.

Fighting for the fair trial our clients deserved.