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Criminal Appeals Attorneys in Oklahoma City

When an accused defendant faces a criminal trial, the outcome comes down to the decision of the jury most of the time. Any attorney will tell you that it’s never advisable to predict what a jury will do with a case, and there have been thousands of examples in the past where the jury has made a decision that appears to be counter to the law and evidence that governed the case.

This is not to say that juries disregard the evidence that’s presented to them, but many times juries are asked to make a decision based on evidence or instructions regarding the law that could be seen as unreasonably detrimental to the defendant’s case. There are other instances where new evidence is uncovered that could not have reasonably been discovered at the time of the original trial.

When this happens in Oklahoma and everywhere else, appeals become the central issue. Legislatures have enacted statutes that govern the regulations and norms of practice regarding appeals, and below is a brief overview of the issue. In the meantime, if you feel you have been wrongfully convicted of a crime, contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation.

Oklahoma Right of Appeals

The Oklahoma statutes define the right to appeals as follows:

An appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals may be taken by the defendant, as a matter of right from any judgment against him, which shall be taken as herein provided; and, upon the appeal, any decision of the court or intermediate order made in the progress of the case may be reviewed; provided further, all appeals taken from any conviction on a plea of guilty shall be taken by petition for writ of certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, provided, such petition must be filed within ninety (90) days from the date of said conviction. The Court of Criminal Appeals may take jurisdiction of any case for the purpose of correcting the appeal records when the same do not disclose judgment and sentence; such jurisdiction shall be for the sole purpose of correcting such defect or defects.

Further, the Oklahoma statutes govern the procedure that’s to be followed with any criminal appeal:

The procedure for the filing of an appeal in the Court of Criminal Appeals shall be as provided in the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals; and the Court of Criminal Appeals shall provide by court rules, which will have the force of statute, and be in furtherance of this method of appeal:

(1) The procedure to be followed by the trial courts in the preparation and authentication of transcripts and records in cases appealed under this act;
(2) the procedure to be followed for the completion and submission of the appeal taken hereunder; and
(3) the procedure to be followed for filing a petition for and the issuance of a writ of certiorari.

Finally, the statutes also state that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals shall define the scope of an appeal on a case-by-case basis.


The Results of a Conviction Decision in OK Appeals Court

Assuming that all of the proper procedures are followed in furtherance of an appeal of a conviction, the appellate court, according to the statutes, has the following authority:

The appellate court may reverse, affirm or modify the judgment or sentence appealed from, and may, if necessary or proper, order a new trial or resentencing. In either case, the cause must be remanded to the court below, with proper instructions, and the opinion of the court, within the time, and in the manner, to be prescribed by rule of the court.

If the case is reversed for a new trial, the clerk of the court from which such cause was appealed is required to make return showing that said case was specifically called to the attention of the trial court at the time of the setting of the docket following receipt of mandate, and showing the court's action in placing said cause on the docket for trial, said return to be made immediately after the trial and entry of judgment, or earlier disposal. Should the case not be retried and should it be dismissed by the court, return shall be made, giving the reasons stated by the court in his minutes justifying such dismissal.

As you see, the appeals court does not explicitly have the authority to summarily reverse a trial court decision that would result in the immediate exoneration of the defendant and create the need for an immediate and permanent release from custody. The specific and central remedy available to the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals is to order a new trial for the convicted defendant based on the rulings made.

If a new trial is ordered, the evidentiary ruling or rulings made by the Court of Appeals shall be adhered to when the case is brought back in front of a new jury, but the new trial shall be based on the merits of the evidence presented at the new trial, and basically, the first trial does not necessarily even exist as far as the new jury is concerned.

An Oklahoma Appeals Lawyer Can Help

As you see, there are laws in place that are meant to provide you with help if you believe that you’ve been wrongfully convicted of a crime. However, you need to take swift action if you believe this has happened to you. Contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation if you feel that you need to fight for your rights.