Established California criminal defense law firm takes cases to higher courts
Hundreds of people have been wrongfully convicted in California courts. If you are convicted of a crime you did not commit or you’ve been given an overly harsh punishment, I am prepared to appeal the verdict on your behalf. At Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law, in Palo Alto, I draw on more than 40 years of experience protecting the rights and freedoms of Bay Area residents who have been found guilty of felony and misdemeanor crimes. When I handle your appeal, whether or not I represented you originally, you can have confidence in my commitment to obtaining justice on your behalf.
Skilled attorney seeks to have criminal convictions overturned on appeal
A guilty verdict does not have to be the end of a criminal case. You can seek a review of your verdict in appellate court if the verdict was influenced by a lack of evidence or a mistake in legal procedure.
A California appellate court will review the initial court’s decision only if there are grounds for the appeal. Grounds may exist if any of the following played a role in the initial verdict:
- Insufficiency of evidence — If a verdict or judgment was based on a limited amount of evidence presented at trial, an appeal is in order.
- Ineffective assistance of counsel — To prove ineffective assistance of counsel, or “bad lawyering,” it must be shown that counsel’s performance was deficient and that if not for this deficient performance, the case would have had a different outcome.
- Mistake by trial judge — An appeal may be advisable if a judge misinterprets or misapplies the law, or if he or she goes against state sentencing guidelines.
- Incorrect or prejudicial jury instructions — If instructions given to jurors during the trial or before deliberation are unclear, incorrect or biased, the jury may deliver a wrongful conviction.
- Improper exclusion or admission of evidence — When a judge allows a key piece of evidence to be excluded from trial, or an unfair piece of evidence to be included, a jury may draw incorrect conclusions.
A successful appeal may save a person from years in prison and other harsh penalties. If you believe any part of your trial was unfair, it is wise to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer to review your conviction.
Persistent advocate guides clients and their loved ones through the appeals process
California imposes strict time limits for individuals who want to appeal their conviction or sentence. A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 dates of the judgment or order for a misdemeanor, and within 60 days for a felony. When you choose Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law, I will get to work immediately to identify grounds for an appeal.
An appellate court does not conduct a new trial but instead reviews the evidence on record and decides if the lower court’s decision was justified. There are several ways for an appellate court to grant a favorable outcome. It may overturn a guilty verdict and issue a not-guilty verdict, modify a punishment, declare a mistrial and require a new trial, or throw out the conviction and state that there is not enough evidence for a new trial.
If new evidence comes to light after a conviction, I can seek a writ of coram nobis. This order from a higher court instructs the court that tried the case to vacate the guilty judgment because of a fundamental error not discovered in the original trial. Coram nobis applies only to very specific circumstances, and is only an option when an appeal is not.
Contact an experienced Bay Area criminal defense law firm for help with your appeal
With more than 40 years of experience, I appeal unfair criminal convictions and sentences in the Bay Area. To schedule a free initial consultation with Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law in Palo Alto, California, call 650-781-6530 or contact me online.