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When one is pro per, and filing for an appeal, what other forms need to be filled out and submitted along with it?

Pacoima, CA |

It's for a criminal defense case. Person pleaded not guilty had witnesses along with codefendant saying he was innocent . Cops word against his. DA didn't bring up codefendants prior arrests for the same charges. Jury was hung but judge made them deliberate again. Public defender was helpless and Jury found him guilty. Now facing 4-8 yrs for something he didn't do. The codefendant got prop 36 for this case!

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

No one should represent themselves on appeal. You should either seek to employ experienced local counsel to handle the appeal or contact the appellate court (or Public Defender's Office) to seek appointment of counsel on appeal. Probably 90% of cases are upheld on appeal, and that's with an experienced attorney. Without an attorney, the odds are far, far worse.

No attorney-client relationship is established between this lawyer and the originator of the question. This answer is provided for informational purposes only and is provided purely to assist the questioner in determining whether to consult with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to their matter.

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Asker

Posted

To ask to be represented by counsel, is that a separate form that needs to be filled out prior to filing the appeal or along with the appeal?

Antonio Arturo Cota

Antonio Arturo Cota

Posted

If the appellant can afford an attorney, he or she must hire one. The Lawyer Referral Service of your local County Bar Association can be helpful. If the appellant is indigent, his or her Public Defender should have given advice on whether an appeal should be taken. If he or she had a PD, they should contact the PD's office immediately to find out whether steps have been taken to begin the appellate process and get information on an attorney. If the person unwisely chose to represent themselves, many judges have a packet of information they will give the defendant. If the defendant has not requested the appointment of counsel on appeal already, they should contact the appropriate District Court of Appeals and ask if they have a form. Some courts do, some do not. Failure to obtain appellate counsel, or permission to represent oneself in a criminal case, in accordance with the District Court's local rules may result in dismissal of the appeal. Also keep in mind that, since there is no federal constitutional right to represent yourself on appeal, many, if not most, appellate courts will not allow a criminal appeal to be handled in pro per, but will require appointment of counsel or, if the party can afford it, hiring of private counsel. Your friend should immediately call the Public Defender's office if they had a PD. If they had private counsel, they should hire an attorney. If they represented themselves, they should call the Court of Appeals immediately to find information.

Posted

Mr. Cota is correct. I would suggest searching for a certified specialist in appellate law on the California State Bar web site and schedule an appointment to discuss the appeal.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services

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Posted

Because you say defendant is facing 4-8 years, I am wondering if there is a sentencing to occur in the future. Defendant must file a notice of appeal within 60 days of the judgement /sentencing. When I file for cliens, I always serve a copy on the DA and file a proof of service of the Notice. The Notice is filed in the clerk's office of the same court where the trial occurred.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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Posted

Unlike my colleagues who have already answered, I am not from California and I defer to them as to the law and practice in that state. In general, however, llitigating a case on appeal is not a matter of filling out and submitting forms. The legal work is subtle and difficult and requires that you be able to function more or less at the level of a law professor. This is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. At least one other answer points out the California certifies some lawyers as appellate specialists. Consulting such a certified specialist who practices in the area of criminal appeals would be your best move.

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Posted

I do not want to say one word that would encourage you to handle this appeal on your own.

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Posted

If you're in LA County and you had a PD on appeal, and you were sentenced to prison on the case, you are under many circumstances entitled to an appointed (i.e. free to you) attorney on appeal. Contact your PD and also contact the Appellate Project for your district to find out if anyone an appeal has been filed.

That said, I agree with all the other attorneys, an appeal is tough to win even for an appellate specialist. You should have an attorney do this for you. But if you want some information on the appellate process in CA, the CA courts website has a lot of information here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1069.htm
Click on "After the Trial - The Appeal Process"

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Nadezhda M Habinek

Nadezhda M Habinek

Posted

Typo: First sentence should read: "If you're in CA and you had a PD at trial..."

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