Winning an appeal from a criminal conviction is a rarity; in fact, reversal rates (meaning the court of appeals reverses a conviction) fall between approximately 5% and 15% of all criminal appeals across the nation, according to studies that have been conducted in some of the largest U.S. cities. Does this mean you hardly stand a chance if you have been convicted of a crime in Michigan, and appeal your conviction? It all depends on the skill and experience of your Michigan criminal appeals attorney.
Unfortunately, there are many people who remain behind bars today simply because their defense attorney was not effective, or did not properly advocate on behalf of the client. There have been countless defendants who have appealed their conviction, only to have the Michigan Court of Appeals uphold it. Essentially, this means the defendant goes back to prison and finishes serving out his or her term, even if it means life behind bars. What may have prevented this?
A criminal defense lawyer who is thoroughly involved and attentive to the client’s case. There is more to it than having charges dismissed, or winning at trial. For instance, may a defendant have faced greatly reduced penalties had he or she negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutors? Possibly. In many cases, defendants are poorly educated or may not even be able to read well. When handed copies of court documents, the defendant still has no clue what is going on. This is why it is critical defendants have a good criminal defense attorney, one who is dedicated to informing the client throughout every stage and who will advocate for an agreeable plea bargain when the situation warrants it.
The fact of the matter is that defendants deserve an attorney who will enlighten them regarding every option, because it is the defendant’s future and freedom which is at stake. All too often, a defendant goes to trial never aware that there may be a plea agreement which would substantially reduce penalties. The defendant ends up being found guilty, sentenced to decades or even life in prison. At this point, if a defendant decides to appeal the conviction, he or she had better have a thoroughly experienced and qualified Michigan criminal appeals lawyer given the odds of winning mentioned above.
Ultimately, a person’s choice in criminal defense lawyers during the early stage is what can make all of the difference in the outcome. Appealing a conviction is no walk in the park; be sure you choose a capable and dedicated attorney.