Criminal Appeals

In Indiana, a person convicted of a crime has a constitutional right to appeal his or her conviction and sentence. However, there are other times when an appeal can be taken in a criminal case. A probationer may have the right to appeal the trial court's determination that he or she violated probation. Even someone who pleads guilty to a crime may have the right to appeal his or her sentence. Ms. Rayl can review your case and advise you whether you can appeal.

If you want to appeal your case, it is important to know that new evidence cannot be introduced to the Indiana Court of Appeals. It will not re-decide the verdict. The Court of Appeals determines whether there was an error in the trial of your case. There can be several reasons why a trial court may have erred in a criminal trial - there may have been a mistake in interpreting the law by the judge, there may be questions about witness testimony, there may be evidence which should not have been admitted or defense evidence that was kept out which should have been admitted.

An appeal can take several months to complete. Ms. Rayl will consult with you and your trial counsel and obtain the record of your case, which consists of the transcript of your trial and any pleadings and orders filed with the trial court. Ms. Rayl will identify the issues for appeal, research those issues and then file a brief on your behalf. A brief is the document in the appeal which sets forth the issues and supporting arguments for those issues. The State will then file an Appellee's Brief, responding to the arguments in the Appellant's Brief. After reviewing the Appellee's Brief, Ms. Rayl will determine whether to file a Reply Brief. A panel of three judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals will review the briefs and record before making a decision. The whole appeals process takes several months.

A criminal appeal is a complex process. It important to have an attorney who understands the Indiana appeals process. Ms. Rayl has many years of experience working with criminal appellate cases the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court, having completed over 80 appeals. She will work to make sure that you have the best possible representation throughout your appeal.