Appealing Criminal Decisions

Attorneys with Expertise in Appellate Cases

When it comes to legal knowledge and procedure, mounting or defending appeals requires a superior level of expertise. Not every lawyer makes it to the appellate Courts. The rules and playing field are different than is the case with regular trial work.

How Are Appeals Different?

When a trial is conducted, the parties conduct examinations and cross examinations for witness testimony. Reports, pictures, and documents are entered as exhibits. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury renders a verdict. If there is a conviction, there will be a sentencing hearing.

An appeal is launched when one or more of the parties believes that mistakes – of law or of fact – were made and resulted in an unfair trial or sentence. Arguments are made using very technical legal concepts and case law, based only on the case record and exhibits, before an entirely new judge – or panel of judges. This is to ensure that the appellate judges are not swayed by any bias or impressions the judge had during the actual trial.

Procedural rules for appeals are quite rigid, as are the formatting requirements. There is no jury so the style and focus of your lawyer’s arguments may be significantly different.

The appellate Court can agree with the appeal, substitute an acquittal or conviction, order a brand new trial, or dismiss the appeal. Sometimes, the Court will agree that mistakes were made, but won’t consider them to have been big enough to merit changing the rulings or decisions made at the trial level. The lawyers will then have to review the appeal record and ascertain whether the appellate Court also made mistakes, and whether to proceed to the next level of appeal, again with strict timelines and rules.

Reliable, Capable Appeal Lawyers

In the two decades spent in the Public Defender’s Office, Dean DelCollo and Dade Werb represented clients in multiple levels of Court. As a result, they are not only proficient trial lawyers, but adept at criminal appeals as well. This holistic comprehension of law means that at Giordano, DelCollo, Werb & Gagne, LLC, the attorneys handling your criminal matter see the forest for the trees, as well as the trees themselves.

Remember, the stakes are even higher at the appeal level. These is where the Courts can fundamentally change the law, and it is progressively harder at each higher level to get the Court to even agree to hear the appeal.

You need expertise on your side. Contact us today.


At Giordano, DelCollo, Werb & Gagne, LLC, our office will strive to meet all of the legal needs that you may require throughout your lifetime. Our office philosophy is: Once a Client, Always a Client. We will be there to answer any questions you may have and to assist you when needed.