Appellate & Post-Conviction Relief Lawyer Serving Macon County & Surrounding Areas
Family law and criminal law trials are complicated matters where the pending issues are decided by the court based on the evidence presented. These trials follow specific rules and procedures resulting in a ruling by the court, such as one of guilt and resulting penalties to be imposed in a criminal case or a child custody decision in a divorce. These rulings can have dramatic and life-changing consequences for those involved. A guilty verdict in a criminal case can lead to years of incarceration, heavy fines, probation, and other court-ordered actions as well as the loss of your reputation. Losing a family law case can lead to the loss of parental rights or significant financial hardship in a marital property decision. However, a court ruling against you in any trial does not mean the end of the line. Post-conviction relief and appeals can allow a change to these consequences.
Hawkins Law, P.C. is one of the few law firms in Illinois that provides representation for post-conviction relief and appeals. If you have lost your family law case or been convicted of a crime based on what you believe to be errors committed by the trial court, we can help. We can review and assess your case to determine if an appeal is appropriate or what type of post-conviction relief measures may be right for you. Our team has years of experience in appellate law and relief, including expungements and other actions sought to change the consequences of a criminal conviction.
Helping Your Case Quicker
With a majority of defendants relying on an appellate defender to do their appeal, the process, at times, can take longer compared to using a private attorney. Many appeals are backed up due to the amount of cases being appointed to defenders, causing them to seek deadline extension after deadline extension for a majority of their case filings. These extensions cause delays.
By using a private attorney, like our team at Hawkins Law, P.C., we will not seek those continued extensions, thereby getting your case in front of the appellate court judges in a much more timely manner. Don't put your life on hold - contact us today for help.
Get a free case evaluation with a Decatur appeals attorney at Hawkins Law, P.C. by contacting us online or at (217) 599-6110.
Appellate Cases in Illinois
During a trial, judges and juries will base their decisions on the facts and evidence presented to them throughout the legal process. Appellate law differs significantly from that process in that it does not involve a new trial or new evidence but a thorough review and analysis of what went on during the lower court trial. Appellate judges will review the lower court’s record in terms of whether proper procedure and interpretation of the law occurred or other legal errors that may have affected the outcome of the case.
To prevail in an appeal, your appeals lawyer must show that significant errors occurred that affected the results. This is done through the submission of written and oral briefs presented to the appellate court for review.
Examples of lower court errors can include but are not limited to:
- Insufficient evidence to justify the verdict.
- Improperly admitted or excluded evidence. This generally involves evidence that was unlawfully obtained.
- Ineffective counsel. This means that your attorney’s performance in the trial was substandard which is why you lost the case.
- Sentencing errors. This involves criminal trials where the sentencing imposed by the court was done in error or was inappropriate.
- False arrest. In a criminal case, this involves being arrested under false pretenses.
- Prosecutorial misconduct. This means that the prosecutor acted unethically, resulting in prejudice that led to an unfair decision.
This is an area of criminal law in which you can seek to get the results of a conviction overturned, your sentence modified, your criminal record sealed or expunged, or your civil rights returned. For example, expungements in Illinois erase criminal arrests from your record. However, you must be eligible for such an action. Our firm can review your criminal record to determine if you meet eligibility criteria or if alternate remedies may apply to give you other forms of relief in the wake of a criminal conviction.
- Decades of Experience
- Personalized Attention
- Stress-Free Environment
- Trustworthy Representation
- Knowledgeable Attorney
The first step in seeking to change the outcome of your case is to have it reviewed by an attorney who is experienced in appeals and post-conviction matters. These are complex matters subject to many laws and considerations based on the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. You can begin the process by discussing your case with our skilled and experienced attorney who can provide you with an assessment of your available options virtually or in-person!