Grounds for Filing a California Misdemeanor Appeal

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 09, 2010 | 0 Comments

The fact that you believe you were unfairly convicted for driving under the influence may or may not provide grounds on which you may file a misdemeanor appeal in California. If you think the cops harassed you, were too hard on you, that the jury didn't like you or your lawyer…these are, unfortunately, not legitimate reasons for filing a misdemeanor appeal.

If, however, you believe you were unfairly convicted because your attorney was incompetent, because the prosecutor acted unethically, because the jury based its verdict on an outside investigation, or because the judge sentenced you to a jail or prison sentence that exceeded his/her authority, those would be legitimate reasons for filing a misdemeanor appeal.

This is because a California misdemeanor appeal must be based on (1) a legal error, and (2) on a legal error that caused you prejudice. “Prejudice” means that if there were no legal error, there is a reasonable probability that the case would have had a more favorable outcome.

So if you believe that the police, either attorney, the judge, or jury committed an actual “legal” error, be sure to consult immediately with a California misdemeanor appeals attorney. California misdemeanor appeals must be filed within 30 days of your judgment. If they are not timely filed, your case will be rejected. (Also refer to our articles Grounds for Filing a California appeal and California federal appeals.)

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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