In Michigan a person who is convicted of a criminal offense is often given grounds to appeal, you can either appeal the conviction or appeal the sentence or both. An appeal is generally under two headings, an “Appeal as of Right” or “Appeal by Leave of the Court.” It is important to understand under Michigan law that strict deadlines are followed, and if you decide you want to appeal you must meet those deadlines. Of course, there may be a number of reasons why you may want to appeal.
You may want to appeal because of tainted evidence, false testimony; failure of the court to follow court rules or law; newly discovered evidence that was not available during the original trial court case or misconduct of the prosecutor or law enforcement. In one case, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the trial court was wrong when it denied the defendant’s motion for an evidentiary hearing regarding evidence that the complainants may have had an ulterior motive for accusing the defendant of criminal sexual conduct (“CSC”) and the case turned “on a close question of credibility” People v. Spangler, No. 261375, 2006 WL 3823820, at *2 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2006).
In another case, the Supreme Court of Michigan reversed the trial court, because the trial court excluded expert testimony on a relevant point in a criminal case in People v. Kowalski, 492 Mich. 106, 821, NW2d 14 (2012). In another criminal case, the prosecutor attempted to depart from the Michigan sentencing guidelines and tried to increase the sentence of the defendant, and in another case the prosecutor sought to charge the defendant with a crime, which the defendant did not commit, again this shows the need to review a case to ensure grounds exist for an appeal.
While there are endless grounds for the basis of an appeal, the time limits are not. Our appeal attorneys can provide you with advice and assistance, if you are seeking to file an appeal in Michigan or the federal appeal court. It is important that you contact our office as soon as possible to ensure that a timely review is made and if necessary, a timely appeal is filed, since failure to file an appeal within the time limits can limit your right to an acquittal or reduction of sentence where grounds exist.
Again it is important to note that the first thing that must occur is to review the grounds for appeal, and if such grounds exist to obtain the required documents, file the appeal papers and pay the appropriate fees to the court, whether you are appealing from the District Court, Circuit Court, Court of Appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court or Federal trial court to the Federal appeal court. If you delay, you could face jail time and or fines or both and probably loose your right to appeal your sentence, conviction or both. Don’t delay; contact Hackett & Hackett appeal attorneys to discuss your case.