Facing a felony conviction can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. If you believe that the court’s decision was not just, you may have the option to appeal the conviction.
However, it is important to understand that not all convictions are eligible for appeal. In Hawaii, the appeals process follows specific guidelines and conditions.
When there are grounds for appeal
To appeal a felony conviction in Hawaii, you must have valid grounds for doing so. This typically entails calling attention to errors that may have occurred during the trial that affected the outcome of the case. These errors could include mistakes made by the judge, the prosecutor or even your own defense attorney. They might pertain to the introduction of improper evidence, incorrect jury instructions or misapplication of the law.
During the appeal window
Appealing a felony conviction comes with a strict timeline. In Hawaii, you generally have 30 days from the date of your sentencing to file a notice of appeal. Failing to meet this deadline could result in the forfeiture of your right to appeal.
After reviewing the case, the appellate court might decide to uphold the original conviction, reverse the conviction or order a new trial. If the court finds significant errors that influenced the trial’s outcome, it may overturn the conviction and possibly dismiss the charges. Alternatively, if it determines that errors were harmless or had no impact on the case, the conviction may be upheld.
The United States Courts report that 50,000 cases go through the appeals process each year. Appealing a felony conviction in Hawaii is a complex process, but one that is worth undergoing for the sake of securing a just outcome.