The Essential Guide to Choosing a Criminal Appeals Attorney

Presented by Browstone Law

Facing a criminal conviction can be a daunting experience. If you believe that your trial was unfair or that your conviction was the result of legal errors, you have the right to appeal. Choosing the right criminal appeals attorney is crucial to ensuring that your appeal has the best chance of success. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

A Criminal Appeals Attorney specializes in challenging convictions and sentences through the appellate process, advocating for their clients’ rights and seeking to overturn or modify unfavorable trial court decisions.

1. Experience and Expertise

Specialization: Look for an attorney who specializes in criminal appeals. An attorney with a focus on appeals will have a deeper understanding of the specific legal issues involved and the appellate process.

Track Record: Research the attorney’s track record. A successful history of handling criminal appeals, particularly in cases similar to yours, is a good indicator of their competence and skill.

2. Knowledge of Appellate Law

Familiarity with Appellate Courts: An experienced appellate attorney should be familiar with the procedures, rules, and preferences of the appellate courts where your case will be heard.

Legal Research Skills: Appellate attorneys must be skilled in legal research to identify relevant case law and legal principles that support your appeal.

3. Communication Skills

Clear and Responsive Communication: Your attorney should be able to explain complex legal issues in a way that you can understand. They should also be responsive to your questions and concerns.
Writing Skills: A significant part of appellate practice involves written advocacy. Your attorney should be capable of drafting clear, persuasive appellate briefs and motions.

4. Reputation and Reviews

Client Reviews and Testimonials: Reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients can provide valuable insights into an attorney’s professionalism, effectiveness, and client satisfaction.
Peer Recognition: Recognition from peers, such as awards or high ratings from legal publications, can also be an indicator of an attorney’s reputation and expertise.

5. Resources and Support

Support Staff: A well-equipped law firm with experienced support staff can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your appeal.

Financial Resources: Appeals can be time-consuming and expensive. Ensure that the law firm has the financial resources to handle your case through to its conclusion.

6. Personal Compatibility

Trust and Comfort: It’s important to feel comfortable with your attorney and trust their judgment. A strong attorney-client relationship is crucial to the success of your appeal.

Accessibility: Make sure the attorney is accessible and available to discuss your case, answer your questions, and provide updates on the progress of your appeal.

7. Fee Structure

Transparent Fees: Understand the attorney’s fee structure upfront. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee, while others may charge by the hour or offer a contingency fee arrangement.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: Consider the potential costs of the appeal compared to the potential benefits, such as overturning your conviction or securing a more favorable outcome.


Choosing the right criminal appeals attorney is a critical decision that can significantly impact the outcome of your appeal. By considering the attorney’s experience, knowledge, communication skills, reputation, resources, personal compatibility, and fee structure, you can make an informed decision that best serves your interests.

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At Browstone Law, we specialize in criminal appeals and are committed to providing personalized, effective, and zealous representation to clients seeking to overturn their convictions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing a second chance at justice.

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