Post Conviction and Criminal Appeals in Las Vegas
If you are convicted of a crime in Las Vegas, you have the right to file an appeal. If the appellate court finds that an error (or errors) occurred at the trial court level, you could be entitled to relief such as a vacated conviction, a reduction of your sentence, or a remand for a new trial or hearing.
When fighting a criminal conviction, you need a highly skilled and experienced Las Vegas appeals attorney who has a proven track record of success. Joel M. Mann is a veteran Clark County criminal appeals lawyer who has years of experience winning cases at both the trial and appellate levels. When Joel takes your case, he will identify any issues that may be raised on appeal, including whether the trial court:
- Lacked jurisdiction to rule on your case
- Incorrectly allowed evidence to be admitted against you
- Misinterpreted a law or regulation
- Gave the jury improper jury instructions
- Allowed your case to go the jury when it should have been dismissed due to insufficient evidence
- Gave you an improper sentence and/or other punishment
Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, Joel started his legal career in the Appellate Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. Now, he continues to successfully handle many appeals each year in state and federal courts, obtaining relief for countless clients. Contact Joel today to learn about your options for appeal.
What Happens in an Appeal?
It is important to understand that an appeal is not a new trial. You do not present new evidence or testimony in an appeal. An appeals court makes no findings of fact.
Instead, in an appeal, you ask a higher court to determine whether any legal mistakes occurred at your trial or hearing in the lower court. The appeals court will decide your case on the record and arguments. An appeals court decides questions of law.
Joel understands that when you appeal your case, you are toward the end of your legal journey. You need the strongest and best legal arguments to help turn your case around. One of the best ways Joel is able to do that is that he will listen to you and hear what you have to say about your case.
Joel will continue to fight for you even after everyone else has given up. Contact Joel today to discuss your case.
Why You Need an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Appeals Attorney
Criminal appeals in Nevada can be complex. You will need to have a skilled and knowledgeable appellate lawyer on your side.
- First, an attorney can ensure you follow the strict guidelines put forth in the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure. If you fail to follow these rules, it could cost you. For instance, the rules require you to file notice of appeal and an appeal statement within 30 days after the District Court enters judgment against you. If you fail to give timely notice, you could lose your right to appeal.
- Second, a skilled lawyer will identify all the issues that you can raise on appeal. To spot those issues, the attorney will carefully review the District Court file, witness testimony, and trial court rulings. If you fail to raise an issue, you could lose the right to argue that issue at any other point. In turn, you could miss out on potential relief.
- Finally, an experienced appellate attorney will craft a clear and concise written argument. The argument must rely on statutes, case law, and sound legal reasoning to support your argument, or else it will likely fail.
An appeal may offer your best opportunity for post-conviction relief, so you need to make it count. The dedicated legal team at the Law Office of Joel M. Mann can provide the experienced and detail-oriented legal representation you need.
Joel handles appeals before the Nevada Court of Appeals and Nevada Supreme Court. He also is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, and United States Supreme Court. Contact us today to discuss the details of your appeal.
What Is a Writ of Habeas Corpus (Post-Conviction)?
If you fail to get relief on appeal, and you are being held in custody, you may be able to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus (post-conviction). The petition would challenge the legality of your imprisonment or the conditions under which you are being held.
Habeas corpus literally means “produce the body.” A writ of habeas corpus is a court order to a person (warden) or agency (institution) that holds a person in custody. It orders the person or agency to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court that issues the order.
In a petition for habeas corpus, you would ask a court to determine whether you are being held in violation of your constitutional rights. If the court grants the writ, the court would hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether you should be set free or whether to end the unlawful conditions of your custody.
A writ of habeas corpus (post-conviction) is an extraordinary remedy. However, it can be used to raise serious issues such as:
- Ineffective assistance of counsel. A writ of habeas corpus (post-conviction) is the only mechanism possible for a defendant to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Under the United States Constitution, you have a Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. If an attorney representing you falls below the standard level of representation, and you were prejudiced by that ineffective assistance, you could be granted a whole new trial. (In order to file a writ of habeas corpus (post-conviction) claiming ineffective assistance of counsel, it is often recommended that you complete the appeal process first and then file a petition in District Court or the trial court.)
- New evidence. In some cases, evidence may surface that you did not know (and could not have known) about when your trial occurred. This could include evidence withheld by the prosecution, newly tested evidence, or another person’s admission to the crime after your conviction.
- Recognition of a constitutional right. Your lawyer may argue that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right that applies retroactively to your case.
A petition for writ of habeas corpus (post-conviction) is a very arduous and difficult document to put together correctly. It is important that a habeas attorney takes the time to go through the entire case and classify every instance of ineffective assistance of counsel. If you fail to raise an issue in your habeas petition, it is possible that the issue may be forever waived.
Joel will spend the time going through your entire case and speak with you about all aspects of any habeas petition that is necessary. He can review your case and determine whether filing a habeas petition in state or federal court is the right strategy for you. If so, he can take all the necessary steps to file the petition. If the petition is allowed, he can represent you at your hearing. Contact Joel today to discuss your next steps.
What Courts Decide Criminal Appeals in Nevada?
For many years, the Nevada Supreme Court served as the state’s only appellate court. In 2014, voters approved the creation of the three-judge Nevada Court of Appeals. The court began taking cases in 2015.
Today, a criminal appeal from District Court typically will go to the Court of Appeals unless it involves:
- The death penalty or a life sentence
- A unique legal issue (“question of first impression”)
- An issue that raises “important public policy”
If the Nevada Court of Appeals rules against you, you can file a petition for review with the Nevada Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court grants those petitions only in extraordinary cases.
If your appeal fails to gain relief in the Nevada court system, you could file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court grants such petitions only in rare situations.
If you were convicted in a federal court such as the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, your appeal would go to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. If denied relief again, you could file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.
When you hire Joel to handle your appeal, he will ensure that all deadlines and all necessary steps are completed on time to make sure you do not forfeit any of your rights. Having won several appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Joel is experienced in making sure the important legal issues in a case are carefully crafted and highlighted to maximize the best possible outcome.
Get Help from an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Appeals Attorney
An appeal or a post-conviction writ is a very technical process. You should work with an experienced attorney who has a strong understanding of the statutes, case law, and procedural rules that apply to your case.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime, time will be a critical factor in your appeal. Schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Joel M. Mann without delay. Joel can walk you through the process and begin work on your appeal immediately.
Read About Joel’s Cases That Resulted in Published Opinions
- 121 Nev., Advanced Opinion 34
- 121 Nev., Advanced Opinion 86
- 123 Nev., Advanced Opinion 54 – (reversed)