Appeals in Arizona

The Arizona State Constitution guarantees a defendant who is prosecuted for a crime in Arizona the right to appeal their conviction. The appeal and post-conviction relief processes exist to ensure that the trial court did not make any legal or procedural errors throughout the pretrial and trial process. A successful appeal can result in the reversal of a trial court conviction which can lead to you getting a new trial, having key State’s evidence suppressed, or allow for a reduction in your sentence.

If your case was decided by a plea agreement or your appeal was unsuccessful we can also help you file a Rule 32 Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (commonly referred to as a “PCR”). A successful PCR can overturn the defendant’s conviction and win early release from custody or an outright dismissal of the case. The experienced attorneys at AZ Defenders who include former state, county, and city prosecutors have helped many people here in Arizona through their Appeal and PCR proceedings.

Legal Grounds to File an Appeal Include the Following:

(A) There was a legal error made by the judge, jury, or attorneys.

(B) There was a procedural error made by the judge, jury, or attorneys.

(C) There was an incorrect legal decision made by the judge in the pre-trial or trial process.

Legal Grounds to File a PCR Include the Following:

(A) There is new evidence that has been discovered that either exists or probably exists and if the evidence was known at the time of the trial it probably would have changed the verdict or sentence. (ie: newly run DNA, a new witness comes forward.)

(B) The sentence imposed exceeds the maximum allowed by law.

(C) The person has been held in custody (usually prison) after the sentence was set to expire.

(D) The defendant failed to appeal but it was not their fault (ie: no access to records in prison).

(E) There has been a change of law since the defendant’s conviction that would probably overturn the defendant’s conviction or sentence had it been tried after the inception of the new law.

(F) Ineffective assistance of counsel where the defense attorney did such a poor job in preparing the defense or a poor job at trial that but for the attorney’s poor efforts the defendant would not have been convicted.

(G) Prosecutorial misconduct: The prosecutor violated the rules to the point where the conviction was would not have occurred but for their actions.

(H) The court did not have the jurisdiction to sentence the defendant.

(I) The conviction violates a term(s) of the United States Constitution or Arizona State Constitution.

Deadlines for filing appeals and PCR are strict and if not followed you can lose your ability to file them at all. The applicable deadlines are as follows:

The deadline for filing a notice of appeal case from a Superior Court (usually a felony case) is 20 days.

The deadline for filing a notice of appeal on a for a misdemeanor case is 14 days.

For post-conviction relief, including Rule 32 (PCR) cases the deadline is 90 days to file the notice of post-conviction relief, and then other specific and strict deadlines until the process is completed.

Restoration of Civil Rights

A felony conviction in Arizona almost always results in the loss of your civil rights including:

(A) The right to carry or even possess a firearm;

(B) The right to vote;

(C) The right to serve on a jury;

(D) The ability to hold certain professional licenses;

(E) The ability to work in certain professions and hold certain jobs;

Once you have completed the terms of your sentence (all jail or prison time, all parole or probation periods and terms, and paid all fines in full) the experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys here at AZ Defenders can help you file a Petition to Restore your Civil Rights and a Petition to Restore your Firearm Rights (they must be filed separately and often the firearm petitions will not be granted as quickly as other civil rights restoration petitions) that were lost from the conviction of a felony offense in Arizona.

Contact AZ Defenders Today

If you are considering filing an appeal conviction, you need an attorney to help you with experience in handling this paperwork. Call us today for a free consultation so we can find the best approach in your case. Contact us online or call at 480-456-6400 for your free consultation.

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