Practice Areas

Appeals & Post-Conviction

When someone loses their criminal case and is convicted of a crime, they may think that all hope is lost. At Shannon Smith Law, we represent many clients in the appeal process both in state cases and federal cases.

However, the Appellate Court and Post-Conviction system is designed to allow a person to request a review of another court’s decision because of some issue in the hopes of overturning the conviction.

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a crime and you’d like to look into your options for appeal or post-conviction, a Michigan appeals lawyer at Shannon Smith Law is here to help you figure it out.

The difference between appeals and post-conviction

By the time someone is looking for an appeals or post-conviction attorney, they may very well have been through the very worst situation they can imagine – not only being accused of a crime, but being convicted of it, too.

Unfortunately, mistakes that are not the fault of the accused during trial can and do happen in our legal system, leading to wrongful convictions and violations of people’s rights.

Mistakes or reasons a trial did not go the way it should have may include:

That's where the appellate and post-conviction processes come into play

An appeal is a request to a supervisory court to change the legal ruling of a lower court. The supervisory court is usually composed of a panel of judges.

Post-conviction relief allows the defendant to bring more evidence or raise additional issues in a case after they have been convicted.

The appeals process

    • Appeals – before 42 days or 14 days in federal court; On appeal, the accused can attack the process by which he was convicted, or the sentencing, or both.


  • Whichever side loses at the Court of Appeals may file an Application for Leave to Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court within 56 days of losing in the Court of Appeals.

  • If the accused loses in the state courts, he has the option of taking the case to federal (US District Court) with a Petition for Habeas Corpus, which is restricted to issues already raised in the state courts that were “exhausted” as federal issues in the state courts. After that, there are potential appeals to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and US Supreme Court.

  • Motion for Relief from Judgment, also known as a 6.500 motion

  • Different acts – For juveniles, sodomy and fondling are more common that something like rape, which is a much more common for adults to commit.


Our experience with appellate cases

The team at Shannon Smith Law is ready to fight for you.

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