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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


  1. Best answer

    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.


  2. 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


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


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


  6. 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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