This is our first post in what will be a series on understanding criminal appeals in Arkansas. We decided to write this series because, quite often, people are confused about their options to appeal, what an appeal is, how the appeal process works, and how to go forward after having been convicted in either Arkansas State Courts or in Federal District Court. Our goal with this series is to clarify several of these issues for those that reside in Little Rock and throughout the state of Arkansas.
Appeals are a very different process than what a defendant goes through at the Trial Court level. The Trial Court is mostly concerned with determining the facts of the case and, once those facts have been determined, deciding whether a law has been violated. An Appellate Court, by contrast, generally accepts the Trial Court’s determination of the facts but looks to see if the Trial Court made a mistake in interpreting the law that was applied to the facts. New evidence is not presented during an appeal – the Appellate Court’s role is to see if a legal mistake, not a factual mistake, was made by the Trial Court. While these distinctions may sound confusing, we will clarify them over the next several articles. Topics we will discuss in this series will include:
- What an appeal is
- How the criminal appellate process works in Arkansas
- What types of issues may be appealed by those convicted in our state
- Appealing Arkansas death-penalty convictions
- The importance of retaining an attorney to handle your appeal
If you have been convicted of a crime, and wish to appeal your sentence, it is crucial that you contact an appellate lawyer immediately as you will lose the right to appeal if certain documents are not filed in a timely manner.
The Little Rock criminal defense attorneys at Benca and Benca have extensive experience handling state and federal appeals in Arkansas. Our attorneys have been recognized for their commitment to justice and strongly believe that anyone convicted of a crime should not give up hope because there are additional steps in the process. Attorney Patrick Benca has received multiple published decisions from appellate courts and is experienced in the process. Call today for a free initial consultation if a loved one has been convicted of a crime and you believe that there are grounds for an appeal.