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Stafford County Fraud Conviction Appeals

If a person is charged with a misdemeanor fraud offense and loses the trial, Virginia law provides the absolute right to Stafford County fraud conviction appeals. They also have the right to receive a new trial in the circuit court. When there is a conviction in a circuit court, the question is how likely it is that one of the appellate courts in Virginia, in this case, it is the Virginia Supreme Court, is going to take the case.

To answer that question, the lawyer looks at whether there was an error committed in the trial process, whether a jury was improperly instructed, or whether the evidence was mistakenly allowed or disallowed. If one of those things occurred in a person’s case, there is a possibility that the Virginia Supreme Court will hear the appeal.

It is important to know that most cases that are appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court are rejected and are never heard. When filing a fraud appeal, a person should strongly consider hiring an experienced fraud attorney who can assess the likelihood of success.

Role of Innocence in a Fraud Charge

Innocent people are charged with fraud all the time. This is not to say that most fraud charges relate to innocent people. Because it is easy to make this kind of accusation, innocent people do get tied up in it. Someone who is innocent may find themselves facing a fraud charge from an angry romantic partner who accuses them of making transactions without permission when, the individual did, in fact,  have permission.

Fraud Appeal Process

Stafford County fraud conviction appeals can take from six months to more than a year. The appeal must be noted with the trial court. The trial court must be put on notice that an appeal is taking place. The trial court prepares a transcript and assembles all of the documents to be transmitted to the Virginia Supreme Court. The attorney for the defendant files a petition asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

The government may file an opposition, a document telling the court why it should not hear the case. If the court does decide to hear the case, briefs must be filed by each side. If requested, all arguments are placed in front of a Virginia Supreme Court. Once that process is complete, the court renders a written decision. The decision does not happen immediately after oral arguments. In most cases, it can be three to six months or more before the court renders the written decision.

Appealing with an Attorney

In Stafford County fraud conviction appeals that go to the Virginia Supreme Court, the lawyer looks over the record and the transcript of the trial to identify any errors in the process that may have occurred. The lawyer’s role is to articulate to the Supreme Court of Virginia why it should hear the case, overturn the verdict in the trial court, and order a new trial.

Deciding Not to Appeal

A person might not want to file an appeal because it is an expensive process. When looking at the record of a person’s trial, the attorney may conclude there is no error in the process that the Supreme Court would review. If the chances of success are small and the expense of Stafford County fraud conviction appeals is high, a person might not want to go down that road.

Hiring a Lawyer

Appellate work is a specialized practice of law. It is different from the normal trial process. There are procedural pitfalls that an inexperienced lawyer might commit. It is important to have a lawyer with experience practicing before the appellate court who is proficient in filing the necessary documents and is familiar with the procedures to give their client the best chance to have the appeal accepted by the court and acted upon by the court.

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