Criminal Appeals in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

appeals, criminal appeals, Cook County Criminal Defense AttorneyWhether it was a charge of retail theft or violent crime such as assault, if you have been convicted of a crime, your situation may feel hopeless. You have been found guilty and sentenced; what else is there to do? It is very possible, however, that your story does not end there. Any defendant who has been found guilty in an Illinois court has the right to file an appeal regarding either the conviction or the imposed sentence. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you examine your case to determine if and what type of appeal might be in your best interest.

Basis for Appeals

In most cases, your appeal must be based on one of two general principles. Your appeal will need to show that:

  • The trial court made a serious error in procedure or in applying the law; or
  • The evidence was not sufficient to support to the trial court’s verdict.

A serious error by the trial court is one that directly affected the outcome of the case, or compromised the defendant’s rights. Examples of error may include allowing evidence to be introduced that was collected in an illegal search or the misinterpretation of a statute defining a particular criminal offense.

Evidence-based appeals are often more difficult to prove, as, even if the appeal is heard, appellate courts rarely rely on testimony and evidence, instead relying on court transcripts to make most determinations. For an appeal on the weight of evidence to be successful, the error must normally be quite glaring.

Sentencing Appeals

You may also choose to appeal your sentence rather than the actual judgement of guilt. Sentencing appeals are usually based on the judge imposing a sentence that is beyond the prescribed limit in the applicable law. Most criminal statutes contain sentencing provisions that take into account, among other factors, your prior history with a particular offense, your overall background, and extenuating or mitigating circumstances. It is not unheard of, however, for a judge to impose harsher sentences based on personal beliefs and biases that sometimes exceed the limits of the law.  An appeal may be your only recourse to address such concerns.

If you have been convicted of a crime in Illinois, no matter who your trial attorney was, we are ready to help you with your appeal. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today. Mr. Garfinkel is a former prosecutor who understands that sometimes the courts do make mistakes and he is ready and willing to hold them accountable when they do. Call 312-629-0669 for more information or to schedule your free consultation.


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