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Los Angeles Appeals Lawyers

Founded in 1987 by former prosecutors, Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP concentrates exclusively on criminal defense. Our team handles every aspect of a criminal case, including pre-indictment or pre-file investigations, pre-trial hearings, preliminary hearings jury trials and appeals. Understanding the appellate process in California can help you contribute to your own defense. For this reason, or Los Angeles appeals attorney will educate you and answer all of your questions about this next phase in the criminal justice system.

The difference between the appellate process and trial

An appeal gives you the opportunity to have another judge or panel of judges review issues that arose at the trial level. It is not a new trial, but rather a chance to have mistakes that were made by the court, prosecutors, law enforcement, your lawyer or the jury corrected. The court does not hear additional evidence or the testimony of witnesses. Whereas the state has the burden of proof during the trial, you have the burden in the appellate court.

Grounds for reversing a conviction


You cannot file an appeal just because you do not like the outcome of your criminal trial. Your request must be based on grounds established during your arrest, pretrial or trial, such as:

  • Unconstitutionality of the Laws governing your arrest and conviction
  • Judge’s error in excluding or including evidence
  • Improper jury instructions
  • Mistakes made during sentencing
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

Time is of the essence to file your notice

You are given a very brief window after your conviction to file your notice of appeal. If you miss this deadline, the court will not hear your case, even if you have a valid argument. If our lawyers represented you at the trial phase, we take prompt action to file this request in a timely manner. We urge you to consult with our Los Angeles Appeals attorney immediately if you believe you have an issue worth exploring and were represented by a different criminal law trial attorney who is not able or willing to file on your behalf. We also seek fair bail while your appeal is pending.

Appellants’ and respondents’ briefs

Our team thoroughly reviews the transcripts from your trial and pretrial hearings to identify appealable issues. We draft a compelling appellant brief, backed by facts and law, to convince the judges to reverse your conviction or send your case back to the trial court for a new trial or sentencing.

The respondent is the state of California. The prosecution’s appellate division files a brief in response to your brief asking the judges to deny relief. We may then file a second brief replying to the state’s arguments.

Making persuasive oral arguments

The appellate court gives you and the state the opportunity to argue our positions to the court. The judges may ask the parties to clarify certain points made in the briefs and permit us to highlight key issues we want to stress to the court. At the conclusion of our oral arguments, the court generally takes some time to review the briefs and consider the positions presented by each side before making a decision.

Reversing incorrect or unjust decisions made in trial court

Get more information on the appellate process. Call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary initial consultation. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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