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Chandler Criminal Appeals Lawyer

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Chandler Criminal Appeals Attorney

If you have been found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor in Arizona, you have the right to appeal your conviction to a higher court. If a panel of appellate judges finds that errors or omissions occurred in your original trial, they could reverse your guilty verdict. You will need an experienced Chandler criminal appeals lawyer on your side to have the greatest chance of success with this endeavor.

A Chandler appeals lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can review your case for mistakes by the prosecutor or judge that may have contributed unfairly to your conviction. When your freedom and future are at stake, call our dedicated criminal defense attorneys to defend your rights.

Whether you believe your previous attorney did not do an adequate job of defending you in your case, and this resulted in your conviction, or you believe that serious issues with evidence, witness testimony, or procedure resulted in an unfair and unjust conviction, our team can assist you with all stages of the appeals process, help you understand how the appellate court is likely to handle your case, and what you can expect from these proceedings.


Unliked a trial, in which a jury passes judgment, an appeal involves a panel of judges. Scheduled hearings are rare in appeals, and most arguments are presented in writing. The defendant filing the appeal must establish grounds for an appeal, and they have a very limited time following their sentencing in which to file their appeal. It is crucial to have a Chandler criminal appeals lawyer assisting you as quickly as possible after sentencing if you intend to appeal.

Often, arguments in an appeal focus on the violation of a defendant’s rights. A knowledgeable attorney at our firm can explain the three different ways of appealing a conviction in Chandler and help determine the best strategy for a particular case.


It is vital to properly establish solid grounds for appeal before entering your petition, and you will need an experienced Chandler criminal appeals lawyer to assist you with this beginning step of your case. It’s possible to challenge your conviction in various ways, but these are difficult arguments to make and will require the attention of an experienced defense attorney.

Many criminal conviction appeals are filed on the grounds of evidence having been improperly admitted or excluded from the trial. For example, improperly admitted evidence should not have been considered by the jury and may have, therefore, influenced their ruling. Conversely, it is also possible for excluded evidence to have changed the jury’s interpretation of the situation, and the appealing defendant must prove that this evidence could have altered the case’s outcome.

Jury selection mistakes can also form grounds for appeal. A defendant may need to prove that a specific juror was biased and should have been excluded from the trial, or they may need to prove that a juror was improperly dismissed. An experienced Chandler criminal appeals lawyer can help their client make these arguments.

If you had a different criminal defense attorney representing you during your trial and you believe their ineffective counsel resulted in your conviction, proving ineffective defense counsel can also form grounds for appeal. This requires proof that the original defense attorney failed to provide the basic level of defense representation you should have received in your case. Proving legal malpractice can be very difficult and will require an experienced attorney’s assistance.


After conviction and sentencing at a trial, an appellant and their attorney can file a Notice of Appeal, followed by an Opening Brief directed to the State’s attorney. An appellate prosecutor will be assigned to the case and will file an Answering Brief, to which the appellant can reply before the briefs are submitted to a three or five-judge panel.

Importantly, there are strict time limits set by the Arizona court in 16A A.R.S. Rules Crim. Proc., Rule 31.13, and the case can be dismissed if briefs are not filed by the appropriate deadline. For a noncapital case, the appellant must file:

  • An opening brief within 40 days after the initial notice is distributed
  • An answering brief no later than 40 days after appellant’s brief is served (if not served, the court can make a decision based on the opening brief)
  • A reply brief (if there is one) no later than 20 days after the answering brief is served
  • Cross appeals

The court can schedule an Oral Argument between the appellant’s lawyer and the State’s attorney if it deems it appropriate. The court then considers the errors at trial and can take up to a year to affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the trial court’s decision. Our tenacious local attorneys are experienced in filing direct appeals and fighting for convictions to be overturned.


Our legal team can also help file Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) petitions for defendants who have accepted a plea agreement. PCR petitions are handled in the original trial court by the original judge and are submitted in writing. Oral arguments and evidentiary hearings may include both witnesses and the defendant.


After all Arizona appeals are exhausted, a federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus can be filed with the United States District Court. Federal Rules of Procedure govern this type of appeal, including the types of claims permitted. Like the state appeals procedure, the arguments are written in advance, first by the appellate attorney and then by the State. Afterwards, an Evidentiary Hearing or Oral Argument may be scheduled. However, years can pass before the District Court decides the outcome.


The main goal of the appellate court is to determine whether the original case was tried correctly or if a mistake of law and/or procedural errors caused the defendant to be unfairly convicted. The most common positive outcome for a defendant is for the appellate court to order new proceedings. The case will be sent back to the lower court and effectively retried with the previous errors addressed to ensure a fair trial.

In extreme cases, an appellate court may overturn the lower court’s decision and acquit the defendant. This would require proof that the conviction was entirely wrongful and that the previous court reached a completely incorrect decision. Proving prosecutorial misconduct or severe constitutional rights violations could lead to this result.


Conviction for a crime in Arizona may not be the final say in a defendant’s fate. If there were mistakes in your trial, such as incorrect jury instructions or the omission of pertinent evidence, our lawyers can fight to overturn your wrongful conviction. The Grand Canyon Law Group has an extensive record of successful cases and the experience you need on your side to navigate the appeals process with confidence.

Our Chandler appeals lawyers are committed to upholding the justice system and representing those who were not given a fair chance at trial. We can scrutinize your trial to see if wrongful acts or omissions tainted your verdict. You have a way of life worth protecting, so call us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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