Once your loved one has been convicted and sentenced to prison, it is easy to become discouraged and feel that all hope is lost. It’s not. There are a variety of post-conviction remedies available to challenge a criminal conviction in Georgia, including: motion for new trial, direct or discretionary appeal, motion to withdraw guilty plea, certiorari, and habeas corpus.
However, no area of criminal practice demands more knowledge, skill, and experience than challenging a conviction and seeking a new trial through appeal. Once a defendant enters a plea of guilty, or is convicted after a trial, he no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence. In order to obtain a new trial, the burden is on the defendant to demonstrate that a substantial legal error occurred during the trial process. Usually this means that the trial judge made an erroneous ruling which affected the fairness of the trial, the trial attorney made a prejudicial mistake, or that the prosecutor did something improper. Finding these legal errors which might entitle a defendant to a new trial can be very complicated and is often like looking for a needle in a haystack. Experience is crucial.
Maddox appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court in 2010
At Kilgore & Rodriguez, we have a track record of winning on appeal. As a former law assistant on the Georgia Supreme Court, Maddox understands what the appellate courts are looking for and how to best present a compelling appeal. As a former Assistant Attorney General, Maddox honed his skills in legal research, writing legal briefs, and arguing appeals before the Georgia Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. That experience has resulted in winning appeals:
- Chavez-Ortega v. State, 331 Ga. App. 500 (2015)
- Tindell v. State, 314 Ga. App. 91 (2012)
- Hedden et. al. v. State, 288 Ga. 871 (2011)
- Fedak v. State, 304 Ga. App. 580 (2010)
- Nelson v. State, 302 Ga. App. 583 (2010)
- State v. Goode, 298 Ga. App. 749 (2009)
- Robinson v. State, 286 Ga. 42 (2009)
- Boivin v. State, 289 Ga. App. 411 (2009)
- Dunagan v. State, 283 Ga. 501 (2008)
- Jones v. State, 294 Ga. App. 169 (2008).
Conviction Reversed by Supreme Court
Client was sentenced to 8 years in prison after a Floyd County jury convicted him of Serious Injury by Vehicle. The Georgia Court of Appeals rejected his first attempt at an appeal. Maddox then successfully petitioned the Georgia Supreme Court to review the matter. The Supreme Court of Georgia agreed that client did not receive a fair trial because the judge had refused to allow him the chance to present his evidence. client conviction was overturned and he was released from prison. Read the published opinion: Dunagan v. State, 283 Ga. 501 (2008).
Supreme Court Throws Out Confession
Sometimes an appeal can occur before the case even goes to trial. Take for example the case of State of Georgia v. Robinson where defendant was charged with murder. When the judge refused to exclude Mr. Robinson’s statement during an improper police interrogation, Maddox petitioned the Supreme Court of Georgia to review the ruling. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter, and agreed that the Marietta Police Detectives had violated Mr. Robinson’s constitutional rights. Robinson’s statement was thrown out. Read the published opinion at Robinson v. State, 286 Ga. 42 (2009).
Supreme Court agrees that Cherokee Judge and Court of Appeals WRONG
When several Cherokee County defendants were convicted of child pornography, the trial judge believed the law would not allow him to consider a sentence of less than 5 years in prison. Maddox appealed the ruling. The Court of Appeals sided with the judge in Cherokee County and denied the appeal. Maddox then argued to the Supreme Court of Georgia that the trial judge and the Court of Appeals had misinterpreted the law. The Supreme Court of Georgia agreed with Maddox’ interpretation of the law and reversed the Court of Appeals. As a result, three prisoners ultimately received reduced sentences. Read the published opinions at Hedden et. al. v. State, 288 Ga. 871 (2011); Tindell v. State, 314 Ga. App. 91 (2012).