Facing criminal charges for a crime you did not commit can impact your life in detrimental ways. You may lose your job, watch important relationships deteriorate and feel the judgment from people whose trust you have lost.
One of your rights is the right to file an appeal if you disagree with the charges against you. Understanding how to maximize the opportunity to write an appeal letter can help you make your content as persuasive as possible.
Contents of your letter
As you articulate your thoughts, maintain the highest level of professionalism and respect. Try to separate your emotions from your situation. Rather, present the court with facts about your case. Point out inconsistencies and discrepancies and highlight how they compromised your case and your rights.
At the onset of your letter, state clearly why the charges against you require amending. Scour the opposition brief before forming your response. If you receive a summons for an oral argument, plan to attend and reaffirm your position.
Outcomes of an appeal
Many people falsely believe that an appeal is another trial. According to the United States Department of Justice, an appeal is a chance for you to raise doubts about the legal process that ultimately resulted in your charges. Taking your time to thoroughly research your case and articulate your thoughts can improve the context and effect of your appeal letter.
If the courts deny your appeal request, your charges stand. However, if they approve your appeal, you may have the right to a new trial. Depending on the circumstances, the courts may opt to amend your charges to a less severe sentence or reverse your charges altogether.