It is a hallmark of the criminal justice system in the United States that all individuals are guaranteed a right to effective legal representation when facing criminal charges. This is true not only during the trial process, but during the appeal process as well. As a result, many individuals facing criminal charges apply for and receive representation from dedicated attorneys that work with the county public defender’s office on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. Available statistics bear out that the vast majority of criminal appeals are filed by publicly appointed counsel on behalf of indigent criminal defendants.
However, in many cases, individuals charged with criminal offenses do not qualify for public defense because of their income. These individuals then seek the representation of private criminal defense attorneys. The benefits to individuals who are in a position to pay for private representation during the costly appeal process are substantial: As I often tell my clients, by hiring private counsel not only do you have the ability to find someone who is the right fit for your particular needs, but you are guaranteed greater access to your attorney who will typically be able to devote more time and attention to your case because public defenders are often burdened with extremely heavy caseloads.
Most, if not all criminal defense attorneys structure fee agreements in such a way that representation during an appeal requires a separate fee agreement. Accordingly, individuals that were represented by private attorneys who have been convicted of a crime and wish to file an appeal are typically in a position where they must retain private appellate counsel to represent them. A criminal defendant in such a position has some urgent decisions to make: once you are sentenced in a criminal case, you have only 10 days to file post sentence motions or 30 days to file an appeal.
Attorney Julian Allatt of Rehmeyer & Allatt has extensive experience representing criminal defendants on both direct appeal and at the Post Conviction Relief stage. Appellate and Post-Conviction Relief Act litigation is a time consuming, detail oriented process that requires the time and attention of a dedicated criminal defense attorney with a thorough understanding of appellate procedure, the law of evidence, and criminal procedure.
Though our criminal defense practice is focused largely on advocacy at the trial level, Attorney Allatt has extensive appellate experience and would be happy to provide a consultation if you or a loved one is interested in pursuing a criminal appeal.