Being convicted of a DUI can result in a suspended license, jail time, hefty fines, the loss of your job, increased car insurance premiums and many more difficulties. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you’re probably wondering if you can appeal a DUI conviction in California. The answer is yes, you can, if certain conditions exist. Your time for filing an appeal is limited, so it’s in your best interests to speak with an appeals lawyer as soon as you can after your conviction. Generally, in a misdemeanor case, you must file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of your conviction. In a felony case, you must file an appeal within 60 days.
Here at the Simmrin Law Group in Los Angeles, our experienced DUI attorneys not only defend clients charged with DUI, but we help clients who have been convicted of DUI. We have attorneys who specialize in DUI cases who have been practicing for years, and have successfully defended hundreds of clients, both in negotiating plea bargains and winning at trial. Because of that experience, we know what it takes to make a successful appeal. If you were convicted of DUI, we may be able to help you appeal your conviction.
Do You Have Legal Grounds to Appeal Your DUI Conviction?
Just because you were convicted, doesn’t mean you have the automatic right to appeal your DUI conviction.. In California, you must have legal grounds to appeal. This is the case whether you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. In general, in a petition to the appellate court, you and your DUI appeals lawyer will have to show that the police, the district attorney, or your own attorney made mistakes or took actions that prevented you from getting a fair trial. You can also file an appeal if you can show that judge made an error in judgment on the law in your case.
Legal grounds for appeal include:
- Prosecutorial misconduct where, for instance, the prosecutor withheld evidence that could help you.
- Misconduct by the jurors, such as relying on improper information in reaching a conviction. For example, the judge tells the jury to disregard a witness statement, but they use it to find you guilty anyway.
- Your own lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel. For example, the lawyer showed up unprepared or filed legal briefs late. There have even been instances of lawyers falling asleep in court or showing up under the influence.
- The judge in your case made a legal error by admitting certain evidence against you, such as allowing the jurors to hear statements you made during an unlawful interrogation, or hear breathalyzer evidence against you that was improperly handled by police
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What a DUI Appeals Lawyer Does
First of all, if you’ve been convicted of a DUI in California and you wish to appeal, you may want to work with a different criminal defense lawyer than the one who represented you at trial. The main reasons for this are that your trial lawyer may have missed legal defense strategies that might have prevented your conviction, or the lawyer actually made mistakes that might qualify as ineffective assistance of counsel. Another reason to work with a DUI appeals lawyer is that the appeals process is different than going to trial, and you want a lawyer who is experienced in both areas.
When you decide to work with a DUI appeals lawyer, the first thing he or she will do is meet with you to discuss your case, and go over the legal record, including the police report, results of any tests conducted, your statement to police, trial testimony, and much more. If we determine there are indeed sufficient grounds for an appeal of your DUI conviction, we will file the appropriate paperwork with the appropriate court, and we will argue your case in the appeals court.
Your lawyer will have to prove that the outcome of your trial might have been different if not for the legal errors by your trial lawyer, the prosecutor, or the judge.
What Happens If You Win Your Appeal of Your DUI Conviction?
If you win your appeal of your DUI conviction in California, your conviction will be overturned. This doesn’t mean you are completely free. In many cases, it means that you will be granted a new trial — a do over, so to speak. If the evidence against you was strong in the first case, you may wish to consider a plea deal with reduced jail time or fines. If the main piece of evidence against you was mishandled or should not have been used, and is the reason for you winning your appeal, the prosecutor may even go so far as to ask the court to drop the charges. Each case is different. You will want to consult with your lawyer before making any decisions.
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Contact a Los Angeles DUI Appeals Lawyer for a FREE Consultation
Whatever the circumstances of your DUI appeal is, you need a lawyer working with you to help make sure you get the best possible outcome for you and your family. If you or a loved one has been convicted of DUI, and you want to appeal, you need an experienced Los Angeles DUI appeals lawyer on your side.