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Washington Lawyer for Appeals of Criminal Cases

A “guilty” verdict at the end of a trial often leaves a defendant (and his loved ones) crestfallen. It is important to remember that it is the appeals courts in Washington that have the final word on whether a person has received a fair trial. Overturning a conviction is hard, and it is important that the appellate attorney take a thorough review of the transcript and record and look into any issues of misconduct by the prosecutor or jury. At our law firm, both attorneys Steve Graham and Anthony Martinez have argued at our state Supreme Court, and have assisted on appeals on everything from DUI to homicide.

The important thing to realize of about appeals is that they often take about a year or more to get resolved. It is important that the appeal deadline is met. Typically, a person filing an appeal has, at most, 30 days to file for an appeal. Once the appeal is filed, the attorney has to designate what parts of the court file he wants sent to the appeals court, and also decide what parts of the trial he wants transcribed. The transcription can often take 3 or 4 months, particularly on a major trial that is 2 or 3 weeks. Once the transcripts care completed, the defendant’s lawyer and prosecuting attorney are both given a certain amount of time to finish their legal briefs. The biggest wait is often the time it takes for the appeals court to hear the case and to make a final decision.

Usually, the issue that gets a conviction overturned is fairly technical, and often unexpected by the defendant and his family. The most common issues are problems with the jury instructions, or constitutional issues like a violation of a right to a public trial or right to cross-examine a witness. If the jurors heard both sides of a case, and simply believed the wrong side that is usually not something that can be appealed.

If you have a case you would like to discuss with our attorneys, please make a call to set up a free consultation. We can be reached at (509) 252-9167.