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Felony Criminal Appeals

Fortress Law Group represents clients who need a comprehensive strategy to Felony Criminal Appeals convictions of juvenile crimes, misdemeanors, and felonies.
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Criminal Felony Appeals in Ohio

If you have been convicted of a felony, the consequences can be devastating. Not only can you face lengthy prison sentences, but you may also lose your right to vote, possess a firearm, or obtain certain professional licenses. However, even after a conviction, there could still be hope. The appeals process can be an effective way to challenge a conviction and potentially have it overturned.

Felony Appellate Attorney in Willoughby

If you are considering a criminal appeal for a felony conviction, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation. The appeals process is complex and requires specialized knowledge of the law and the court system. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can review your case, determine if there are grounds for appeal, and guide you through the appeals process.

At Fortress Law Group, we understand the devastating consequences that a criminal felony conviction can have on your life. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers have a track record of success in appealing felony convictions and protecting our clients' rights. We provide personalized representation and work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the best possible outcome.

What Types of Felony Cases Can Be Appealed in Ohio?

In Ohio, any type of criminal conviction may be subject to an appeal. A defendant convicted of a felony charge can ask for a higher court to review the decisions made in a lower court in an attempt to overturn a conviction. Additionally, appeals are not restricted to convictions alone, it is also possible to appeal if you disagree with the sentence you received in your case.

The Felony Appeals Process in Ohio

The appeals process begins after a judgement of conviction has been filed by the trial court. In Ohio, the defendant, and in this circumstance the appellant, must file a notice of appeal within 30 days after the conviction. The appellant’s lawyer will then file briefs outlining the legal and factual errors that occurred during the trial.

The appeals court will then review the briefs and may hear oral arguments from both sides. The appeals court may affirm the lower court's decision, reverse the decision, or remand the case back to the lower court for further proceedings such as a retrial.

Grounds for Felony Appeals in Ohio

There are several grounds on which a defendant can appeal a felony conviction. These include:

  • Legal errors: If the lower court made an error in the application of the law, such as allowing evidence that should have been excluded or failing to properly instruct the jury, the defendant may be able to appeal on the grounds of legal errors.
  • Procedural errors: If the lower court made an error in the procedural process of the trial, such as denying the defendant the right to an attorney or failing to provide adequate notice of the charges, the defendant may be able to appeal on the grounds of procedural errors.
  • New evidence: If new evidence is discovered after the trial that could have affected the outcome of the case, the defendant may be able to appeal on the grounds of new evidence.
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: If a defendant's lawyer failed to provide adequate representation during the trial, it could be grounds for appeal. For instance, if the lawyer did not investigate crucial evidence or failed to call important witnesses to testify, the defendant may appeal based on the argument that they received ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • Insufficient Evidence: If the jury's verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence, the defendant may appeal the decision.
  • Constitutional Violations: If the defendant's constitutional rights were violated during the trial, such as the right to a fair trial or the right to due process, they may appeal the verdict.
  • Sentencing Errors: If the sentence imposed by the judge was incorrect or unreasonable, the defendant may appeal on the grounds that the sentence was in violation of the law.

It is important to note that the grounds for appeal in criminal cases can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the appropriate grounds for appeal in your particular case.

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Can You File an Appeal After Pleading Guilty to a Felony in Ohio?

It is possible to file a criminal appeal after pleading guilty in Ohio, but the grounds for appeal may be limited. In most cases, a guilty plea is considered a waiver of the right to appeal. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the defendant can show that their plea was not made voluntarily or was based on a misunderstanding of the consequences of the plea, they may be able to appeal.

Additionally, if there were legal errors during the plea hearing or sentencing, such as a violation of the defendant's constitutional rights, a defendant who pleads guilty may still be able to appeal. However, it is important to note that the defendant's guilty plea may limit the available grounds for appeal.

Hiring An Attorney for Your Felony Appeal

Winning your appeal heavily relies on having skilled and experienced legal representation. It's crucial to have an attorney who not only has convincing advocacy skills but also possesses a deep understanding of the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Additionally, expertise in forensic evidence is a vital component of the appeals process. A highly skilled defense attorney from Fortress Law Group would be adept at presenting evidence that supports your case, while challenging questionable evidence presented by the prosecution.

If you have been convicted of a crime and are considering an appeal, you’ll want to seek the assistance of our legal allies at Fortress Law Group. In our appellate experience, our team has had the privilege of helping many clients regain their freedom and reverse damaging consequences of a conviction, some of which involving life sentences. At the end of the day, justice is our top priority, and one of the greatest justices is saving a person from losing years of their life due to a false conviction. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help with your criminal felony appeal.

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Related FAQs


What is the appeals process in Ohio?

After the conclusion of your case, your criminal appeals attorney must file your appeal or request an extension within 30 days. Most appeal lawyers in Ohio file an extension to have more time with the case notes for an appeal. Once the court receives the appeal, the prosecuting attorney reviews the petition and the court transcripts to draft a counterargument.
When the prosecuting attorney finishes their brief, three appellate judges will read the defendant’s and prosecutor’s brief and hear oral arguments from both attorneys. They will vote on whether to uphold or overturn the original court’s decision.

What reasons can I use to file an appeal?

You can’t file an appeal just to seek a “not guilty” decision. Courts usually uphold a jury’s decision unless the evidence in the court transcripts suggests the original trial procedures were incorrect or unfair. An appeal is a way to potentially rectify an error in the court procedure in your case.

Some issues in successful appeal cases include evidence that shouldn’t have been permissible, an error in the court procedure, or allowing damaging testimony from an unreliable witness. Our criminal appeals attorney, Matthew C. Bangerter at Fortress Law Group, will advise you on the best approach.

What happens if the appellate judges reverse the original court decision?

An appeal does not turn a guilty verdict into a not-guilty verdict. Instead, an appeal determines whether the original trial followed the appropriate procedures. Winning your appeal usually results in remanding the case to the lower court for a new trial.

Be aware that the appeals process typically takes over a year. Both sides and the judges need to review your trial procedures to determine an appeal decision.

Do I need an Ohio criminal defense attorney to file my appeal?

If you represented yourself in your original case or weren’t happy with your defense attorney’s performance during your trial, you should call an experienced appeals attorney, such as Matthew C. Bangerter of Willoughby, OH, to represent you. The legal briefs and forms you need to file for an appeal require extensive knowledge of Ohio court procedures.

Bangerter, a criminal appeals attorney from Fortress Law Group, can review your case from arrest, discovery, and trial procedures to determine what arguments exist for your appeal. We have represented people in criminal trials and appeals since 2009 across Northeast Ohio, and we’re ready to take on your case, too! Call for a case review at (440) 340-1740

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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