Appeals and PCRs

If you or a loved one is sitting in jail thinking about your appeal, let us help you. If you or your family member has been convicted of a crime, you may be wondering what happened. It all happened very quickly and now you are facing very important filing deadlines. Your constitutional rights may have been violated. Your attorney may have ineffectively represented you at trial or during your plea. You or your family member is now alone and confused and sitting in jail or prison.

Two of the most common post-conviction avenues are the Direct Appeal and Motion for Post-Conviction Relief.

If you have been convicted after a trial and want to appeal your conviction or sentence, you need to file what is called a Direct Appeal. Your right to a direct appeal exists in every state and federal court. Most of the time, it is the first step that needs to be taken to challenge an unjust conviction or unfair sentence. Here, you are raising claims of “trial error.” Common trial error claims include: improper jury instructions, the improper admission or exclusion of evidence, denial of motions to suppress evidence, and improper arguments made by the prosecution.

If you don’t raise your trial error on your Direct Appeal, that claim is typically considered waived. Your next step is to file a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief. This is often referred to as a 29.15 Motion. Again, you cannot raise any claims you did not raise on your direct appeal. Here, the most common claim is Ineffective Assistance of Trial or Appellate Counsel. Again, there are hard and fast deadlines that are strictly enforced by the courts. It is imperative to seek out the assistance of experienced appellate counsel sooner rather than later.

When evaluating your case on appeal, we will review what happened and how you got to where you are. We will explain the appellate process to you. You will not be left wondering what is going on. Too often we hear of people who are very confused about where they are on their appeal – they are lost in the appellate system. The appellate process can be confusing. Let us help you. Let us give you a voice.

We have the experience you need. We will do what we can to remedy any errors that occurred, be it in your trial, your plea, or your sentence.  Call us today for a free consultation where we can help you determine what options you have.

Contact St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorneys Muhlenkamp & Bernsen today for a free case evaluation.

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