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How Can I Overturn My Criminal Conviction in Charles County, MD?

If you have been convicted of a crime in Waldorf, Maryland, very broadly, there are two ways to try and overturn the conviction: file a written request with the Maryland criminal court judge that handled the case or appeal the case to a “higher” court. With both methods, your experienced criminal defense team must be able to show that the conviction was unlawful, was — in some way — improperly obtained, or that there was some legal error committed. Under procedural rules, these written requests are called “Motions” or “Petitions.” Generally, if you succeed in having your conviction overturned, you will be given a new trial. If you have questions about your post-conviction options, call for a consultation with the top-tier Maryland criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301) 705-5137. Here is additional information on trying to overturn a Maryland criminal conviction.

As noted, the initial criminal court judge has the power to overturn a criminal conviction. The Motion requesting an overturning of a conviction can be named various things like a “Motion For a New Trial” or a “Motion to Set Aside Conviction.” The Motion must identify some legal error or impropriety that occurred leading up to or during the criminal trial. To result in an overturning of the conviction, such legal error/impropriety must have been:

  • Material and important — not a minor or small error
  • Causally connected to the conviction — that is, without the error having occurred, likely, the conviction would NOT have occurred; and
  • Not waived by the criminal defendant either directly or indirectly

Examples of such errors/improprieties include allowing improper evidence to be introduced at the criminal trial or giving improper jury instructions to the jury. The time deadline for filing such motions is very quick, usually 30 days or less.

In addition to filing Motions with the trial court, appeals can be taken to higher courts in a specific sequence. The rules of procedure specify that if the original trial was had before a Maryland District Court, then the first appeal must be to the appropriate Circuit Court. From a Circuit Court, criminal appeals are taken to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and then up to our Supreme Court. The time deadlines are also quick for each level of appeal — usually 30 days or less. And, for each appeal, the same sort of legal error/impropriety must be identified as the basis for the appeal. Note that, under some circumstances, appeals can be made in the federal court system. This can be done by an “appeal” to a federal District Court, and there are methods of appealing from a Maryland Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD, 20601.