Many errors made in court are considered “harmless,” and nothing typically is done as a result of them. However, some errors just may be specific grounds on which to appeal a conviction. Serious errors, including some sentencing errors, could lead to a modified sentence or a reversed conviction for an individual previously convicted of a crime in a court of law.
Making the Appeal
Based on advice from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, a defendant may appeal a conviction, if there is strong evidence that errors, specifically sentencing errors, were made by the trial judge. This can be a tricky one to win, though, as courts are known to acknowledge errors are made but often decide not to respond to them, especially if they believe the trial in question still was done fairly. Courts realize that no trial will have went perfectly smooth. Working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer will help a convicted individual better know if he or she should appeal a conviction on the specific grounds of sentencing errors, however. A trained attorney can best determine if errors that took place during a trial are “harmless” or severe enough that the process would be beneficial.
Sentencing Errors Considered “Harmful”
An appeal made on the grounds of sentencing errors may be appropriate if specific mistakes were made. If these errors are proven during the process, then the convicted defendant may receive a modified sentence or even a new trial. The following often are considered to be “harmful” sentencing errors that may be cause to see the higher court about the matter:
- the sentence given was obviously too severe for the crime;
- the sentence was enhanced based on a theory that the jury did not believe to be true beyond a reasonable doubt; or
- the sentence was based on reasons that were not valid and/or weren’t preceded by a waiver of the right to counsel.
More on an Appeal Against a Sentence
An appeal is a request made to a higher court to review and change the decision of the original court. A Court of Appeal may recognize a certain error does exist in the original sentence, especially if a judge went against a specific law when determining that sentence. A Court of Appeal often also acts favorably on an appeal if it is believed that the sentence given by the judge was just plain unreasonable.
Contact Us For Help!
If you or a loved one need assistance regarding possible “sentencing errors,” that seem unfair, contact us at The Law Office of Peter Blair. We provide a free consultation to those seeking an attorney for representation.