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When Can a Criminal Case Be Appealed in West Virginia?

Dec 29, 2023 | Criminal Lawyer

Being convicted of criminal offenses in West Virginia may come with harsh penalties like a prison sentence and heavy fines. A criminal record could stain your reputation and change your life forever.

No justice system is perfect, and if you believe your conviction was unfair, you may have options to appeal your case. A skilled criminal defense attorney in West Virginia can let you know whether you have grounds for an appeal and what outcome you may expect.

Possible Reasons for an Appeal

Usually, people may appeal their case if the conviction has legal issues. These may include the following situations.

Inadmissible Evidence

Appellate courts rarely look into specific evidence, like witness testimony or documentation. However, they may scrutinize the judge’s decision to admit or exclude evidence. 

For example, if a judge decided to admit evidence collected during an unlawful arrest, this could serve as grounds for an appeal. 

New Evidence

What if a new witness comes forward, or fresh, compelling evidence surfaces after a trial ends? If the evidence could not have been revealed earlier, this could lead to re-examining the case and overturning a criminal conviction. 

Unconstitutional Procedures and Errors

Wrongful searches and seizures, not reading the Miranda notice to an arrested person, and various constitutional violations during trial could also provide grounds for an appeal. 

Additionally, an appeal could occur if a legal error, like miscommunication or miscalculating sentences, occurs during the trial and substantially harms your rights.

Jury Misconduct

Jurors must stay impartial and follow certain rules of conduct. Leaking information, posting about the case on social media, using alcohol during jury duty, and other jury misconduct are valid grounds for appealing a case.

What Happens After You Appeal a Criminal Case?

Your appeal may result in one of these outcomes:

  • An affirmed conviction. After looking at your case, the Court of Appeals could decide that your trial followed procedure and that the conviction was correct. 
  • Case remand. If your case involved a technical or procedural mistake, the Court of Appeals may send it back to the Circuit Court to correct the error. 
  • Reversal of conviction. The Court of Appeals may reverse your conviction if the appeal goes well. In this case, you would face a new trial and have another chance to defend yourself. 

The Deadline for Appeals

In West Virginia, you must file a notice of intent to appeal within 30 days of the verdict. The appeal petition must be finalized within 120 days. This means you and your criminal defense lawyer must work quickly to decide whether appealing your case would be the right decision and prepare a strong appeal. 

Facing Criminal Charges? Contact Arnold & Bailey

If you face criminal charges in West Virginia, call us at Arnold & Bailey. Our lawyers will work hard to protect your rights and achieve the optimal outcome in your case. We have successfully defended many clients against various types of misdemeanor and felony charges, including DUI, gun violations, and white-collar crimes. 

Call 304-725-2002 or contact our law firm online to learn more about your options by scheduling a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in West Virginia.