In February, former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell, wife of Governor Bob McDonnell, was sentenced at a federal court after she was convicted on corruption charges. Now, according to news reports, she is appealing the conviction.
McDonnell was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, while the former Governor was sentenced to 24 months in prison for the corruption scandal in which the two allegedly promoted health products for businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. in exchange for $177,000 in loans, gifts, and vacations.
According to the Washington Times, former Gov. Bob McDonnell appealed his conviction to the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, the same court his wife is now appealing her conviction in. Oral arguments in the former governor’s case are scheduled for the week of May 12.
The former governor argues in his appeal that the definition of bribery his conviction was based on would make all politicians criminals. Another news source claims that the appeals court said that McDonnell’s appeal raises a substantial question of fact or law that could potentially warrant a new trial, or reversal of the conviction. Both McDonnells remain free on bond pending their appeals.
Appealing a conviction requires the legal guidance and support of an attorney who is highly familiar with the appeals process, and what is required to win. Even then, there is no guarantee that an appeal will be successful. Many individuals who have been convicted believe that appealing is an opportunity to present their case again, however this is not the case. An appeals court panel of judges reviews the court case thoroughly to determine whether the defendant truly has a solid argument or grounds which would support the conviction being thrown out, or a retrial.
While many who appeal their convictions are successful, far more are not successful in their efforts to have a conviction overturned. If you have been convicted of a crime in Michigan, never attempt to appeal your conviction without the support of an aggressive and skilled Michigan criminal appeals lawyer.