Highly Rated Michigan Criminal Appellate Lawyers

Where do I start when looking for a good appellate attorney in Michigan? How do I know what to look for?

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Experienced Appellate Lawyers Can Make All the Difference

If you need an experienced criminal appeals lawyer, it probably means you or a loved one was convicted of something, either by plea or trial. If you trust the lawyer who handled the case at the trial level, a good place to start is to ask their recommendation for a few names. Speaking to each of the lawyers is worthwhile. Your best hope of reversing a conviction or improper sentence is with a zealous, tenacious Michigan criminal appeal attorney.

If you have lawyer friends, ask them for recommendations. The internet is a great source to find and evaluate potential appellate counsel if you don’t know anyone with an attorney referral. If you want to check out some attorneys, a great resource is www.avvo.com. I also recommend searching the Internet for reviews on an attorney to see what experiences prior clients have had with the lawyer. If an attorney does not have any reviews, that is a good sign that the attorney has blocked them or erased them because they were not favorable. Most experienced attorneys have client reviews on the Internet.

But how do I evaluate a Michigan Criminal Appeal Attorney?

When you interview a prospective lawyer, you should ask all the obvious questions:

  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What jobs have you had over the years?
  • What portion of your practice is devoted to criminal cases?

Many lawyers in Michigan’s tough economy today handle various types of cases (like divorce, criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury, etc.). Lawyers are like doctors in the sense that specialists handle only one type of practice. A heart doctor doesn’t dabble in brain surgery. Similarly, a great Michigan criminal defense attorney will not handle divorce cases (or any other type of law).

Are there considerable differences between appeal attorneys?

Yes, there are huge differences. In many cases, the quality, zealousness, and intelligence of the criminal defense attorney can make the difference between success and failure on appeal. Once you need an appellate lawyer, you face an uphill battle on appeal, and statistically, very few criminal appeals are successful. A top appellate lawyer will, overall, increase the odds of success.

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How much should I expect to pay for an appellate lawyer? Should I pay a flat fee or hourly?

Before the appellate attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. quote a fee for an appeal, we want to know: how long was the trial? Has the transcript already been prepared? Were there co-defendants in the case, and who are their lawyers? From the client’s perspective, what issues are there for the appeal? Was the trial by jury or by a judge (a bench trial)? Who was the prosecutor, and who was the judge? What type of job did the trial attorney do in the case? What was the sentence? Has a notice of appeal already been filed?

Most highly experienced Michigan appeal lawyers charge a flat fee instead of an hourly one. Some cases require an hourly fee basis, but an experienced appeals lawyer will help you decide which payment method is best in a particular case. The benefit of a flat fee is that the client has limited exposure and knows the legal prices are affordable and reasonable. Attorneys who charge hourly may tend to charge many hours and may not be forgiving when the client runs into trouble paying bills.

What costs are usually not included in a Michigan criminal appeal attorney’s fee?

When you hire a lawyer for an appeal, they typically agree to handle the appeal in the Court of Appeals only, unless you agree that the fee also covers the Michigan Supreme Court. That means they will write the brief and, possibly, a reply brief (after the opponent’s brief is received) and then argue the appeal at the Court of Appeals if the court’s rules permit and the appellate court grants oral arguments.

If you lose the appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals (on a felony appeal) or the Circuit Court (on a misdemeanor appeal), the fee typically does not include a further appeal to a higher court. Talk to the MI appellate lawyer and ensure you clearly understand what work is being agreed to by the lawyer. Filing fees, copy fees, postage, and transcripts are never a part of the legal fees and are always the client’s responsibility.

Cost of an Appeal

Depending on the trial length, the number of possible issues, and other factors impacting its complexity, the cost of an appeal can be significant. Every case is different, and an honest attorney will take the time to learn about a case, at a free consultation, before quoting a fee. Federal appeals are typically more expensive than state appeals, but there is no hard and fast rule.

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We can help you! Top Michigan Criminal Appeal Attorney

If you have any questions, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., and we will take the time to speak with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We will find a way to help you. Our appellate lawyers zealously represent clients, take the time to thoroughly investigate all issues on appeal, and aggressively pursue relief on any compelling appellate arguments.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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What Michigan Counties have the most convictions?

The MI Counties with the most common convictions and appeals include, but are not limited to: Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Kent County, Genesee County, St. Clair County, Ingham County, and Lenawee County. A good Michigan criminal appeal attorney can handle your case successfully regardless of the district or circuit court.