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What Results Can Be Appealed in a Delaware Criminal Case?


A Delaware criminal case is decided by an entity termed the finder of fact, which simply means that the verdict will be either rendered by the judge or a jury. When a judge decides guilt in a bench trial, that person acts as both the finder of fact and the traditional judicial role. There are pros and cons to bench and jury trials, but both may involve mistakes by the deciding entity. In such a situation, the finding may be a topic you can appeal under Delaware court rules for appeals in criminal cases. You must do so within 15 days after the date you are sentenced, so time is of the essence.

Still, many individuals who go through the criminal process realize that there are only certain aspects of the case that are appealable. You are in the best position to achieve a favorable outcome when you get help from a Wilmington, DE appeals attorney, and some information about what you can appeal is helpful.

Outcomes You Can Appeal in a Criminal Case: Fortunately, the rules offer multiple opportunities to request that an appellate court review what you believe is a mistake in deciding the case. There are numerous specifics depending on the details, but the results that you can appeal include: 

  • Your Conviction: When some error during the criminal proceedings was a core reason that led you to be found guilty by the judge or jury, you will certainly want to appeal the verdict. Under the rules, you have 15 days from the date of sentencing – not your conviction.
  • Sentence: In some cases, you may have grounds to request an appeal because of a mistake with sentencing. You may or may not also ask for review of the underlying conviction, and you could be granted an appeal on one or both issues. The court could decide all while declining to hear others.
  • Partial Acquittal: If there are multiple charges against you for different offenses, you might be able to appeal the conviction and/or sentencing on one crime. The decisions and outcomes related to other charges can remain, though they could be impacted by the appellate process.

 What Cannot Be Appealed: There is one important outcome in a criminal case that is not subject to review by an appellate court. When you were acquitted by the finder of fact, the prosecutor cannot take your case to an appeal. The concept of double jeopardy applies, offering a reminder that you cannot be forced to go through the criminal process twice for the same offense. However, the details vary depending on how far your case proceeded.

Talk to a Delaware Appeals Lawyer About Your Case

The appellate process is complex, so it is essential to have experienced counsel at your side. To learn more about what you can appeal based upon the facts of your case, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to set up a consultation. You can reach our Wilmington, DE office by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting us online.



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