No human institution is perfect, a truism that is unfortunately also true for our system of criminal justice.
Simply stated, many citizens accused of a crime consistently suffer convictions for crimes they did not commit or which result from mistake or error in the criminal process leading to their conviction.
The post-conviction process provides various means of overturning a wrongful conviction, chief of which is the process of appellate review.
There are many popular misconceptions about the process of criminal appeals, beginning with what issues are available for appeal. Unlike the trial of the case where disputes over the facts of the alleged crimes are front and center and put to a jury to decide, appeals involve only questions of law; in other words, the only issue that can be heard on appeal is whether the judge made a mistake in interpreting the law since a jury determination as to the factual circumstances of the crime rarely can be reversed.
The second popular misconception involves who hears the appeal - most people are surprised to learn that appeals are heard by a panel of judges who do not review testimony or evidence, only the written and oral arguments made by lawyers.
For the most part, appellate courts - there are two in Connecticut consisting of a lower Appellate and Supreme Court - are reluctant to overturn the legal decisions of trial judges which are accorded great deference. As a result most appeals are not successful, and require great skill and experience on the part of appellate attorneys to prevail.
Our CT appellate lawyers have had considerable experience and success in representing criminal defendants in appeals as well as other post-conviction remedies such as Habeas Corpus (described previously on this web-site). Since most criminal prosecutions result from state statutory violations, we have concentrated our practice in the State appellate Courts when pursuing appeals of criminal convictions, although we have brought many federal appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, the most influential federal court in the country aside from the United States Supreme Court.
To learn more about how we can assist you in handling an appeal from a criminal conviction, please call us at 860 728-4900.