Santa Ana Criminal Appeals Attorney

January 21, 2023

If you have been convicted of a crime in Santa Ana, you have an automatic right to appeal your case to a higher court for review. Challenging a criminal conviction can be a daunting and complex process, which is why you need an experienced Santa Ana criminal appeals attorney every step of the way. The Law Offices of John D. Rogers can help you determine the best course of action and build a comprehensive appellate strategy. Give us a call today to schedule a free appellate consultation.

Overview of Post-Conviction Criminal Appeals Process


In California, every criminal defendant convicted of a felony or misdemeanor holds the right to appeal their conviction to a higher court. If a defendant wants representation from an experienced lawyer, then a notice of appeal must be filed right away.

The criminal appeal process is initiated after the final judgment on the case. The final judgment is generally when the court formally sentences a convicted defendant. The notice of appeal must be filed within 60 days from the judgment in a felony case. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days from the judgment in a misdemeanor case. Failing to meet that statutory deadline may forfeit a defendant’s right to appeal their conviction or sentence.

An appeal is a process a defendant challenges their conviction or sentence in either a felony or misdemeanor case. The higher court will review the record and make a decision based on the briefs filed by the parties. If the defendant is successful in their appeal, then the case will be remanded and/or reversed.

Common Issues Raised on Appeal

  • Ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
  • The court prejudicially errored by admitting inadmissible evidence.
  • The defendant was subjected to an illegal sentence.
  • Jury instructional error that was prejudicial.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct.
  • The evidence at trial was legally insufficient to support a conviction.
  • A defendant’s constitutional rights were violated.

What are the Different Standards the Appellate Evaluate Cases?


There are several different standards of review that are used to determine the appropriate level of scrutiny to be applied to the trial court’s decision. The standard of review may vary depending on the issue being appealed, and the appellate court will apply the appropriate standard to each issue. These standards include:

De Novo

This is the highest level of scrutiny, in which the appellate court independently reviews the evidence and makes its own findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Clearly Erroneous

This standard is used when the appellate court reviews the trial court’s findings of fact, and will only overturn those findings if they are clearly erroneous.

Abuse of Discretion

This standard is used when the appellate court reviews the trial court’s discretionary decisions, such as evidentiary rulings, and will only overturn those decisions if the trial court abused its discretion.

Harmless Error

This standard is used when the appellate court reviews errors that occurred during the trial and determines if they were harmless or not. If it’s harmless, it will not affect the outcome of the trial.

Ineffective assistance of counsel

This standard is used when the appellate court reviews whether the defendant’s lawyer provided ineffective assistance during the trial.

Plain Error

This standard is used when the appellate court reviews errors that were not raised at trial. It’s a high standard of review and the defendant must show that the error was plain and affected the defendant’s substantial rights.

Which Court Will Hear the Appeal?


The appellate court is different between felony and misdemeanor cases in Orange County. In a felony case, a defendant will appeal their case to the California Court of Appeal. However, in a misdemeanor case, the Superior Court Appellate Division will hear the appeal. If a defendant is unsuccessful in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, they may petition to request the Court of Appeal hears their case.

Work with a Santa Ana Criminal Appeals Attorney


A Santa Ana criminal appeals attorney can answer your questions about the appellate process and help you fight for the most favorable outcome possible. An appeal is a very complex and tedious process. It requires competent counsel to review the record, conduct legal research, and formulate persuasive arguments in support of reversing the case. Contact us today to discuss your right to appeal.

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