ARIZONA CRIMINAL APPEALS ATTORNEY
Lisa writes appellate briefs for criminal appeals before the Arizona Court of Appeals Division One in Phoenix and Division Two in Tucson. She also does petitions for review before the Supreme Court of Arizona in Phoenix.
An appellant (defendant) who was convicted after a trial in Superior Court usually takes the following appellate route:
Appeal to Arizona Court of Appeals;
Petition for Review to Arizona Supreme Court after denial of direct appeal to Arizona Court of Appeals;
Petition for Post-Conviction Relief to Superior Court before the trial judge after denial of Petition for Review to Arizona Supreme Court;
Petition for Review to Arizona Court of Appeals after denial of Petition for Post-Conviction Relief in Superior Court;
Petition for Review to Arizona Supreme Court after denial of Petition for Review for Post-Conviction Relief in Division One or Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals;
Federal Habeas Corpus Petition for Review filed in U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Arizona after denial of Petition for Review for Post-Conviction Relief in the Supreme Court of Arizona.
Why are there so many steps? The reasons lie in the differences between a civil appeal and a criminal appeal, an appeal and a petition for post-conviction relief, and Arizona appellate courts and the Arizona federal district court.
In a civil appeal, a person’s personal property, such as money or land, is at stake; in contrast, a person’s freedom is at stake in a criminal appeal. It makes sense to allow more steps for relief when a person’s freedom is on the line.
An appeal examines only errors that are in the case record on appeal in the appellant’s trial; anything that occurs outside the case record on appeal is not considered by the Arizona Court of Appeals. A petition for post-conviction relief examines errors that occurred outside the case record on appeal such as ineffective assistance of counsel, newly discovered evidence, and illegal sentencing. This means that the Arizona Court of Appeals could rule that no errors occurred in the trial yet the trial judge later rules that errors occurred that require the conviction(s) to be reversed in a petition for post-conviction relief. Arizona appellate courts (the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court) must review each appeal and petition for post-conviction relief before an Arizona federal district judge will consider a Federal Habeas Corpus Petition for Review.
Rule 31 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure applies to criminal appeals. The mandatory deadline for filing a notice of appeal starts the appellate process. If it is missed, a defendant forever loses his right to appeal. Rule 31 also dictates the format and content of appellate briefs and motions.
Preparing and filing an Arizona criminal appeal is a complex process. Lisa is an experienced, passionate, and detail-oriented criminal appeals attorney. Please call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the online form for a free case review.
Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona criminal appeals attorney serving clients in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Tucson, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.