How to Appeal Court Errors in Chicago

joe-perales-117891-copy-300x198Our judicial system is no doubt one of the best, but the truth is that it is not always perfect. This is why the state has set up an appeal system at both state and federal court levels. Usually, mistakes during the criminal defense process are the cause of all the wrongful convictions in Chicago. Under the Illinois law, defendants are allowed to file direct or post-conviction appeals.

Direct appeals apply when a defendant requests an appeal at the end of the trial. The law allows the defendant 30 days to file a direct petition for a criminal case in Illinois. A defendant can also file a post-conviction appeal, which allows the petitioner to seek other legal solutions. These include requesting a new trial, a pardon, or correct sentencing errors. When requesting post-conviction relief, a petitioner is required to convince the court that there was a violation of his or her state or federal constitutional rights during the initial trial.

How to Appeal Court Errors in Chicago

According to the Illinois law, a petitioner seeking either direct or post-conviction appeal has the responsibility to prove to the appellate court that the claim is without merit or is not frivolous. The applicant also has the burden to show that there was a violation of one or more constitutional rights in the initial trial stage. However, it is important to understand that filling an appeal can be a lengthy and a complicated process. This is because it may need some procedural guidelines that are different from the ones at the initial trial level.

The state law provides a duration within which a petitioner is allowed to request for post-conviction appeal. The law provides that the appeal must be filed on or before the following time limit:

  • Three years after the conviction date
  • Six months after the set deadline for petition filing or six months after the petitioner is denied the right to petition, where the appeal is done to the state Supreme Court
  • 45 days after the deadline for filing the petition or after the petitioner files a brief in the Supreme Court

However, the law also allows a petitioner to request for post-conviction relief if he or she misses the applicable deadline. This is only possible if the petitioner can prove to the court that he or she did not miss out on filing the appeal due to his or her negligence. The petitioner is allowed to request for post-conviction appeal even if there is a direct appeal pending.

Finally, you will also need to file some documents to prove the findings of the violation of any constitutional rights during the appeal. These include a cover sheet, summons, and the document with the court order and findings.

Is There a Fee for a Filing My Appeal?

Yes, it important to understand that the court charges a fee for filing an appeal. For instance, the Chicago court charges about $125 for cases that involve motor vehicles while most other cases are subject to approximately $318. However, a petitioner can request the court to waive the fees if he or she is unable to pay the stipulated fee. You can also ask the judge to refund your filing fees after the case if you are unable to have fees waived. Even so, it is for the judge to decide whether to do it or not.

In conclusion, appealing court orders can be tricky as it may involve a lengthy and complex process. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the experience of a Chicago defense lawyer to take you through the appeal process. If you are convinced of the court’s errors, you should not be intimidated by the judicial system.

Moreover, you should not be afraid to ask questions on your wrongful conviction. Contact David Freidberg Attorney at Law at 312-560-7100. We provide experienced and reliable defense attorneys who understand the process of appealing court errors in Chicago.

(image courtesy of Joe Perales)