San Diego Criminal Appeals Lawyer

Prison Consultants Handling State and Federal Appeals Cases out of San Diego County

San Diego County is a county where there are only 4 major courthouses. The courthouses that are run by the state are the downtown, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon courthouses. San Diego tries to break their courthouses up by region of the county. Therefore they are known respectfully as the central, north, south and east courthouses. The downtown courthouse is the busiest in San Diego handling the majority of cases and having over 60 departments to hear the cases. Appeals in San Diego often go back into the regular criminal courtroom. If the appeal were a writ of mandamus this would put it onto the civil side for what could still be considered a criminal appeal.

San Diego Criminal Appeals in State Court

A state court appeal is appealing an actual issue in the case. The most common state court appeals are appealing trial issues or rulings at a trial. Ineffective assistance of counsel is another common appeal that is done. The Supreme Court has said that one is entitled to fair and responsible counsel and that the counsel must be effective in their representation. Not filing motions in a case or not calling essential witnesses in a trial may be grounds for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. When a case gets filed with the appellate courts in San Diego there are two main things that the court is looking for:

  • The first is whether or not there was prejudicial error. A common scenario here would be if the judge incorrectly instructed the jury or allowed in evidence that the jury should have never seen. If this type of situation happened then this would be prejudicial to the defendant.
  • The next thing an appellate court is looking into is whether or not there was substantial evidence to support the conviction. In a claim like this, the appellate court doesn’t go fully into the case. Instead they are looking to see if there is just reasonable evidence to support the conviction. The best way to succeed on this theory is to show that one of the elements of the crime was not met.

Writ of Mandamus Lawyers in San Diego

A writ of mandamus is a type of appeal that can essentially be a criminal appeal in nature. In San Diego, this type of appeal would be filed in the state court’s civil division. A writ of mandamus is having a civil court order a lower governmental agency to do as they say. The most practical application for this would be with the department of motor vehicles.

In San Diego if one gets a driving under the influence charge, the DMV will suspend their license. The action will also go into the criminal courts to be dealt with. This makes sense because someone has been charged with a crime. However, this creates a problem. The criminal courts have no power to tell a government agency what to do. They have no jurisdiction. That means that if the criminal courts said that there was actually no license suspension in a case, the DMV does not have to follow that order. They not only do not have to but they actually will not follow that order, no matter the circumstance. The remedy is therefore a writ of mandamus.

Consider this situation in a car accident case. This could also bring up a writ in certain contexts. Here we will consult with a San Diego car accident lawyer for more help. This could be another type of situation where a writ would be successful.

Unlike a criminal court, the administrative agency in this situation must follow the order of a civil court. The civil court could order no suspension and the department has to follow that order. If they do not follow it, they will be in contempt of court.  At Trusted Prison Consultants we have handled writ of mandamus cases with a lot of success. These are hard cases that often force the attorney to go up against the State’s Attorney General. However, if they are written well, these types of cases can be won.

San Diego Federal Court Appeals

The Federal Court in San Diego is called the “US District Court for the Southern District of California”. It is a court that handles civil as well as criminal federal cases and also handles appeals. There are two appeals that are usually filed in federal court. Those are:

  • The most common appeal in federal court is a 28 U.S.C. 2255 claim. This is often an appeal claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and therefore asking for a new trial or a re-sentencing. The idea is that a prisoner in federal court can be re-sentenced or get a new trial if their sentence was in violation of the United States Constitution or the laws of the United States. This type of appeal is very common and in the right circumstances it can be done with a high success rate.
  • Another less common federal appeal is a 28 U.S.C 2254 claim. This is actually a unique claim where the federal courts have said that a state court prisoner can bring a claim in federal court if their constitutional rights are being violated. This is a crafty way to get in front of a different judge and a different system if one’s rights are being violated.

For non appeal issues and just standard criminal defense issues, we recommend the best San Diego criminal defense attorney  to help with your criminal defense case.

Trusted Prison Consultants can help with your San Diego Criminal Appeal

At Trusted Prison Consultants we can do whatever we can to help you with your case. However, it should be noted that we do not take every appeal that comes in the door. It is quite common that we actually reject a case because we do not believe there is anything we can do about it. Here at Trusted Prison Consultants helping the client is the number one goal. If you need help with your San Diego Criminal Appeal, call now for a free consultation.