While every state has different laws concerning criminal appeals court cases, there are many similarities between the states and what defendants need to know what is required. Moreover, you can learn from other's experiences, people who have been criminally charged, yet have won their case in appellate court. Boy, do I have the story for you.
The story takes place in Tennessee, which while it's not Virginia, the state is a very close neighbor. My best friend and I were at a gas station that we always liked to go to, and this guy tried to start a fight with us. While we were both exchanging verbal insults, the guy struck me first, slapping me. After getting out of the car and calling the police, I came out of the gas station. The guy attacked me once again, and then my best friend hit him and his friend, both of whom were standing over me, with a metal pipe.
He was convicted, and I remember being a witness in court and feeling like I was on television. Little did I know, the case would make it to television! Before that happened, however, I noticed one thing that you need if you're going to win an appeals case. First, you need a new lawyer! And, you need a good lawyer! Second, you need to make sure that you as the defendant and all witnesses are practiced when it comes to providing testimony. They need to be familiar with the questions they might face, and they need to be comfortable.
Not only did he lose his case, but he also lost his first case in appellate court as well. It wasn't until his second appeal that his conviction was overturned, and that shows that it can happen. Appeals cases are a win all the time, but, of course, they are lost more often than they are the win.
You have to know what it takes, and you have to have your ducks in a row, even more than they were the first time. After all, the first time around you lost and were convicted. Many people are fighting their appeals from jail or prison, and that can make it a little more difficult. However, all you need is a competent attorney that knows how to win such a case. A fresh look at the evidence and a fresh voice may be just what you need.