What Are Criminal Appeals?

Criminal appeals can have a significant impact on the convicted individual. When a person is convicted of a crime, they may face various penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and other legal consequences. However, if they believe the trial court made an error in their case, they can appeal the decision to a higher court.

Impacts of Successful Appeals

One of the most significant impacts of a successful appeal is the possibility of a new trial. If the appellate court finds an error in the original trial, they may order a new trial. This can give the convicted individual another chance to present their case and potentially avoid a conviction.

Another potential impact of a successful appeal is the reduction of the sentence. If the appellate court finds that the trial court made an error in sentencing, they may order a new sentence. This can result in a shorter prison sentence or a reduction in fines.

A criminal defendant has the right to appeal a conviction or sentence on various grounds, including:

  • Errors made during trial
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Misconduct by the prosecution
  • Insufficient evidence to support the verdict
  • Violation of constitutional rights

However, it is essential to note that not all appeals are successful. If the appellate court upholds the trial court's decision, the convicted individual may be left with the same penalties as before.

Process of Filing a Criminal Appeal

Here is a brief overview of the steps involved in filing a criminal appeal in Bradenton, FL:

Notice of Appeal

The first step in filing a criminal appeal is to file a notice of appeal with the appropriate court. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the final judgment or order being appealed.

Record on Appeal

After filing the notice of appeal, the appellant must order the record on appeal from the trial court. The record on appeal includes all of the documents and transcripts from the trial court proceedings.


The appellant and the appellee must file briefs with the appellate court. The appellant's brief will argue why the trial court made an error, and the appellee's brief will argue why the trial court's decision should be upheld.

Oral Argument

 After the briefs have been filed, the appellate court may schedule a verbal argument. During the oral argument, the attorneys for both sides will have the opportunity to present their arguments to the appellate court.


After considering the briefs and oral argument, the appellate court will issue a decision. The decision may affirm the trial court's decision, reverse the trial court's decision, or remand the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.

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Potential Outcomes of Criminal Appeals

There are several potential outcomes when a criminal defendant appeals their conviction or sentence. Here are some of the most common:

The Appeal is Denied

The appellate court may determine that the lower court's decision was correct, and the appeal is denied. In this case, the defendant's conviction and sentence remain unchanged.

The Conviction is Overturned

The appellate court may determine that the lower court made an error that affected the case's outcome. In this case, the defendant's conviction may be overturned, and a new trial may be ordered.

The Sentence is Modified

The appellate court may determine that the lower court's sentence was too harsh or lenient. In this case, the sentence may be modified to fit the crime better.

The Case is Remanded

The appellate court may determine that the lower court made an error, but it is unclear what the outcome should be. In this case, the case may be remanded to the lower court for further proceedings.

Trust Us With Your Criminal Appeal

Carlson Meissner & Hayslett is a law firm that prides itself on delivering exceptional legal services beyond the norm. Our location on the west coast of Florida sets us apart as the only law firm with a specialized appellate section dedicated to serving our esteemed clients. Our services extend to all courts in Florida, making us a unique player in the industry.

We firmly believe that the appeals process requires an exclusive focus, which is why we offer a dedicated appellate lawyer, Thomas McLaughlin, to our clients. Mr. McLaughlin's extensive experience writing appeals for circuit court judges in Pinellas County and his background as an appellate staff attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit make him an expert in the field.

However, what truly distinguishes us is the collective strength of our team. Our criminal appeals attorneys in Bradenton have an in-depth understanding of Florida's criminal justice system, ensuring that every aspect of your case is handled with precision, dedication, and a commitment to justice. If you feel that your case was mishandled or your rights were violated, having a team of specialists behind you is crucial.

At Carlson Meissner Hayslett, we don't just offer a lawyer; we provide a team of specialists dedicated to every aspect of your legal journey. We are committed to guiding and defending you, ensuring that this challenging phase in your life transforms into an opportunity for justice and vindication. To schedule a comprehensive consultation, please contact us. Let our dedicated appellate section make a difference in your appeal.

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