Virginia Lawyer Handling State & Federal Appeals

US Supreme Court BuildingOne’s case is not over simply because they have been convicted at trial. Trials are complicated and errors occur. Such errors may involve the rules of evidence not being followed or the Judge misapplying the law. In such situations, the defendant may have grounds to challenge their conviction through an appeal. Not all attorneys handle appeals as they involve complicated areas of law and procedural rules which must be strictly followed. It is, therefore, important that you choose counsel who is able to properly handle your matter. Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke appellate lawyer who is licensed both in Virginia and in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. If you wish to challenge a conviction, then you only have a limited amount of time in which you may do so. Contact our office immediately.

Criminal attorney in Roanoke, Virginia determining if your state or federal conviction may be challenged on appeal

Appeals are a completely different process from that which takes place in the trial court. They are not a “do over” of the trial process and the higher court will not consider facts or evidence unless they were already presented at trial. The role of the appellate court is to review the records of the previous proceedings and determine if “mistakes of law” were made. These mistakes may include the lower court misinterpreting a statute, the US Constitution, or prior case law. The lower court may also have incorrectly overruled an objection or it may have erred by allowing certain testimony. If the appellate court finds that such errors occurred, then it may remand the matter for a new trial or even reverse the conviction outright.

The process of appealing a conviction begins by filing a “Notice of Appeal.” This document must typically be filed within thirty days of when the conviction was formally entered. If the notice is filed later than thirty days after the entry of conviction, then the defendant will lose their right to appeal. The next step in the process includes ordering transcripts of relevant proceedings from the Court Reporter. Once the transcripts have been filed, and the record for appeal has been designated, then the Appellant (the person challenging the ruling) will file their opening brief. The Respondent (the opposing side) will file their response. The Appellant will file a reply and the Court will issue a ruling at a later date. It cannot be stressed enough that appeals are highly complicated and that you should retain a lawyer who is qualified to assist you.

Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke criminal law attorney who has been practicing law since 2008. Cerid is licensed in our state courts and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Once retained, she will immediately begin examining the record to determine possible appellate issues. Such issues may include the denial of a search and seizure Motion, the misapplication of existing law, and more. She will quickly file the necessary Notices with the Court and begin requesting the relevant transcripts. Cerid will analyze all relevant legal issues while preparing your briefs and will also take steps to ensure that your rights remain protected. Courts sometimes make mistakes. Such errors are the reason why it is important to retain counsel in these situations. Contact us today.

We also serve the southwest Virginia cities of Cave Spring, Salem, the Botetourt County city of Hollins, the Bedford County cities of Bedford and Forest, the Franklin County city of Rocky Mount, and the Montgomery County cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.

Appellate attorney staying in contact with state and federal clients throughout the process

If you are appealing a conviction, then it means that the legal process has already not gone well for you. You do not need the added stress of dealing with a lawyer who does not keep you up to date as to the status of your case. Cerid makes attorney-client communication a priority. She will copy you on all filed pleadings and will take steps to ensure that your questions are timely answered. We believe that everyone is entitled to effective appellate representation and we apply this belief to every case we handle.