The Oklahoma appeals process provides a mechanism for convicted defendants to appeal their convictions. An appeal is a request made by a defendant who has been convicted in a lower court to have that court’s decision reviewed and changed by a higher court.
The Oklahoma Appellate Judicial System
The Oklahoma state court system is multi-tiered, with two general types of courts: appellate courts and trial courts. All litigants have a statutory right to appeal the verdict at least once to an appellate court.
The Oklahoma Appellate Judicial System is actually comprised of two separate courts: The Oklahoma Supreme Court, which has appellate jurisdiction over civil matters and the The Oklahoma Court of Criminal appeals, which has jurisdiction in criminal cases. In addition, if you are convicted of a federal crime in Oklahoma, you can appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Making a Direct Appeal In Oklahoma
Every defendant convicted of a crime in Oklahoma has the statutory right to one appeal, whether the conviction came as a result of a guilty plea or a verdict at trial. An appeal to withdraw a guilty plea is referred to as an appeal by certiorari. An appeal to withdraw a guilty verdict is referred to as a direct appeal.
In order to successfully file a direct appeal, your case must meet one or more of the common grounds for an appeal in the state of Oklahoma, which include:
- Legal or procedural errors
- Jury misconduct
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- Lack of evidence to support a conviction
- New evidence
How the Appeals Process Works In Oklahoma
After a final judgment or order has been rendered by the trial court, you and your attorney must first determine that errors were made during the trial that constitute grounds for an appeal. If so, a Notice of Intent to Appeal and a Designation of Record must be filed with the Court of Criminal Appeals, within 10 days of your sentencing in the lower court.
In addition, a Petition of Error and an Appellant’s Brief, detailing the alleged errors made by the trial court, must then be filed with the Court of Criminal Appeals within 60 days after the Notice to Transmit the Record is filed. The court will then review the record and all briefs exchanged between the defendant and the court (which can take up to 6 months) and render its decision on the case.
The fact that there were errors and/or misconduct during the trial in which you were convicted does not necessarily mean that your conviction will be withdrawn, unless the appellate court finds that these errors had a direct effect on the outcome of your case and caused you to be wrongfully convicted.
The entire appeals process from the original trial court’s decision to the appellate court’s decision typically lasts 10 -18 months and may result in a reversal, modification or affirmation of the trial court’s ruling or sentencing. The Court of Criminal Appeals may also order that a new trial or sentencing take place, with new instructions to the trial court to avoid the errors made in the original case.
The Oklahoma appeals process is complicated, and filing an appeal without merit or missing any of the filing deadlines can mean the dismissal of your appeal. Filing an appeal in Oklahoma, therefore, requires an attorney who is well-versed in the requirements for filing a successful appeal, in order to ensure that you receive the justice that you seek.
Exercise Your Right to Appeal the Verdict
Every person convicted by bench or jury trial of a crime in Oklahoma has the right to appeal the conviction to a higher court. Exercise your right. Appeal your conviction. There is only a limited amount of time to appeal a conviction, so it is crucial that you contact a competent Oklahoma appeals attorney immediately. Call 1 (888) Jury-Pro or 1 (888) 587-9776 to speak to a Jury Pro lawyer about your case now.