Post-Conviction Proceedings, Criminal Appeals,
& Habeas Corpus 

The best criminal appellate attorneys are ones who know how to try cases. When the attorneys at Nolan Barton & Olmos bring their knowledge of the trial process to post-conviction practice, they provide thorough and sophisticated appellate representation.

An individual who has been convicted of a crime has the right to appeal his conviction and sentence. The law in California requires a defendant to notify the court and the prosecution of the intent to appeal within 60 days after a felony conviction and 30 days after a misdemeanor conviction. Also, under some circumstances, a person who is being prosecuted can seek pretrial review of certain pretrial rulings, such as the denial of a motion to suppress evidence or the ordering of excessive bail.

A typical criminal appeal argues that legal mistakes made during trial process, either by the judge, the prosecutor or trial defense counsel, unfairly affected the jury’s decision and for that reason the jury’s decision should be overturned. The errors that give rise to a successful appeal can be found in improper evidentiary rulings, incorrect jury instructions, prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance by defense counsel. Errors regarding sentencing may be raised if the judge considered improper factors in deciding the sentence.

In considering an appeal, the court reviewing the case looks only at the “record” of the proceedings in the lower court and does not consider any new evidence. The record is made up of the court reporter’s transcript of the trial and pretrial proceedings, the court clerk’s record and anything else which was admitted into evidence during the trial, such as documents or objects. A petition for a writ of habeas corpus permits an appellate court to consider material not contained in the trial court record.

In reaching a decision on the appeal, the appellate court reviews the record and the written briefs filed by both sides. The briefs set out the legal arguments why the appellate court should reverse a conviction. Attorneys also have the opportunity to appear before the appellate court and present oral argument.

Attorneys at Nolan Barton & Olmos have extensive appellate experience, including arguments before various California Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.