No matter what you may have allegedly done, whether you're guilty or not, you always have the right to appeal. After you have gone through the sentencing process, after you realize what punitive measures you face, you still have this final card to play.
Of course, just because you submit an appeal does not mean you will get what you ask for. You also need to consider that, occasionally, an appeal may not be in your best interest.
A Complicated Case - and an Ultimately Unhelpful Appeal
Earlier this year, a man killed his father-in-law. Afterward, the man's wife shot him. The murderer attempted to file an appeal of his life sentence based on his history with his wife and his condition during his initial confession. The court denied his appeal.
Why was it denied? The defendant argued that his lawyers had failed him. In the investigation and court proceedings, the prosecutors had capitalized upon a confession the man had made after his murderous activity. When giving his confession, the man was “wounded, drunk, and under the influence of various drugs.” In his view, that should have rendered his confession moot or unusable.
Further, the man argued that he was only in that inebriated state because of the previous actions of his wife.
In May of 2012, his wife obtained a Protection From Abuse form (or PFA) against the defendant. The PFA specifically noted that the man was not allowed to carry guns, at least not near his wife. Despite this, the man took a rifle and a pistol to the home where his wife, their children, and the wife's parents, were staying.
When the man's father-in-law would not let him into the house, a brief gunfight ensued. After a few shots, the father-in-law was dead.
The defendant went inside to find his wife, children, and mother-in-law hiding. His wife, armed with a pistol, shot him. When the police arrived, the man said that he hadn't planned to kill anyone—except for himself; he'd wanted to commit suicide in front of his estranged wife and family.
In his later appeal, the man insisted that this confession, made under the influence of several substances, should not have held up in court. His lawyers disagreed: In their defense, they wanted the court to know that the man was intoxicated while committing his crime. According to them, the material point of the appeal - suppression of the substance-influenced confession - would have resulted in a more severe sentence for the defendant.
Working with Experienced Legal Representation for Your Best Outcome
When you face charges for a complicated crime, you're processing a lot of information. You might not have your priorities straight. You may seek legal action which is not necessarily in your best interests. That's precisely why you should not be acting alone.
If you find yourself accused of a crime, you need to find lawyers who will protect your interests regardless of your intentions. Your lawyers will work to analyze evidence, precedent, local laws and more to ensure that you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
For unparalleled expertise with defense assistance, you can rely on attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Call us today at (888) 535-3686 or contact us online.