The purpose of the criminal justice system is to deliver justice by prosecuting and punishing those who are guilty of committing crimes while protecting the innocent, but this system isn’t without its flaws. Innocent people are wrongfully convicted and condemned to prison for crimes they didn’t commit, and it is up to criminal appeals lawyers to defend the rights of those who have been the victims of such miscarriages of justice. If you or someone you love has been wrongfully convicted of a criminal offense in California or sentenced to an unreasonably harsh term of imprisonment, you are not alone. Wrongful convictions and overly punitive sentences are handed down more often than you might think, and when something like this happens to you, you need an aggressive, knowledgeable criminal appeals attorney who will fight for your rights and help you find the best avenue for post-conviction relief based on your specific circumstances. For more than 30 years, Pat Ford has helped clients obtain reduced sentences and reversals of their criminal convictions through the appeals process and other post-conviction proceedings, and when you hire Pat Ford, he will put his knowledge and expertise to work for you.
Knowledgeable & Experienced Criminal Appeals Lawyer
The process of appealing a criminal conviction or seeking a reduced sentence or release from prison is very different from the criminal court process in California, and if you plan to file an appeal or post-conviction petition, you need an experienced criminal appeals attorney on your side who can help you navigate the appeals process and ensure that your case is as strong and convincing as possible. When you retain the services of Pat Ford Appeals, we will explore all possible avenues for post-conviction relief that are available to you in your case and ensure that the necessary paperwork is accurate, truthful, and completed and submitted on time, thereby improving your chances of securing a favorable outcome. California law imposes strict deadlines for pursuing certain types of post-conviction relief, including misdemeanor appeals and felony appeals, so if you would like to learn how to file an appeal or file a petition to have your sentence reduced, don’t wait to hire a reputable criminal appeals lawyer. Consult attorney Pat Ford today to schedule a free initial consultation and find out what options for post-conviction relief are available to you under the law.
About Pat Ford
Pat Ford is an award-winning criminal appeals lawyer with a reputation for vigorously protecting the rights of convicted defendants on appeal and in post-conviction proceedings in the state and federal court system.
Pat Ford received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego. He is a member of the California Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Criminal Lawyer Club of San Diego, and the Top Attorneys of North America. He has won awards for appellate lawyer of the year from the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association and Appellate Defenders Inc., and he has an AVVO rating of 10 out of 10. He regularly contributes articles to California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, lectures for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is active in California Appellate Defense Counsel. He also writes and edits the California Criminal Law Reporter, a case law digest that summarizes and publishes criminal cases from the California court system and serves as a valuable resource for criminal defense lawyers and judges across California.
Pat Ford has dedicated his professional career to defending the rights of the criminally accused and for more than 30 years, Pat has knowledgeably represented clients in some of the toughest criminal appeals and constitutional law cases, appearing before both the Supreme Court of California and the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2014, Pat served as co-counsel in the landmark Supreme Court case Riley v. California, in which the Court ruled in a unanimous decision that searching an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant is unconstitutional. He has successfully appealed death penalty verdicts and murder convictions and knows what it takes to win a criminal appeal or get a post-conviction petition granted.
What Pat Ford Can Do for You
A criminal conviction is a life-changing event. In addition to the serious short-term consequences that typically accompany a conviction, which may include hefty fines and a lengthy jail or prison term – there are also long-term ramifications of a conviction that can affect you for years to come. Having a conviction on your record is something that can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult for you to secure gainful employment or obtain professional licensing, and affecting your standing within the community and your reputation among friends and family. A criminal conviction can also have adverse immigration consequences if you aren’t a legal citizen of the United States and could affect your child custody and visitation rights.
During his career as a California criminal appeals lawyer, Pat Ford has seen the devastation a wrongful criminal conviction or excessive term of imprisonment can cause for convicted defendants and their loved ones, and he has dedicated his practice to righting these wrongs, offering the highest quality legal representation in all matters related to criminal appeals and post-conviction relief. Pat Ford represents clients in criminal appeals and post-conviction proceedings throughout Southern California – in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino – and Northern California – in Fresno, the Sacramento Metro Area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Whatever type of post-conviction relief you believe you may be entitled to receive, Pat Ford can help you navigate the process of filing your appeal or petition and improve your chances of getting the outcome you deserve.
Explore Your Post-Conviction Options
From misdemeanor and felony appeals to commutations and habeas corpus petitions, there are a number of post-conviction options available to those who have been convicted of a criminal offense in California. Attorney Pat Ford has a clear understanding of the scope of each of these avenues for relief and will use his expertise to your advantage, helping you explore your options and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each.
File the Necessary Paperwork on Time
Too often, we see convicted defendants forfeit their right to appeal their conviction or sentence due to a failure to adhere to simple time constraints. When you hire Pat Ford, he will ensure that the necessary paperwork is completed in a timely manner and meets all the deadlines required by law.
Put Together a Winning Strategy
Successfully appealing a criminal conviction or obtaining some other type of post-conviction relief is not easy. That being said, you can significantly improve your chances of success by hiring a lawyer who specializes in criminal appeals. For more than three decades, Pat Ford has represented clients in criminal appeals and post-conviction proceedings, and he can help you put together a winning strategy in your case.
Effectively Represent Your Case in Court
Pat Ford has extensive experience representing clients on appeal and in post-conviction proceedings at the state and federal level, and he has appeared before the Supreme Court of California and the Supreme Court of the United States with success. Whatever the circumstances of your conviction or sentencing, Pat Ford will expertly represent your case before the court and put forth a convincing argument for a reversal of your conviction, a release from prison, or a reduced sentence.
Types of Post-Conviction Relief
A post-conviction petition is a request for some specific legal remedy from the court, generally a reversal of a criminal conviction, a release from prison or a reduced sentence. If you believe you may be entitled to some type of post-conviction relief, you can file a writ of habeas corpus petition, a SB 1437 or AB 2942 petition, or some other post-conviction petition with the help of a knowledgeable criminal appeals attorney.
In criminal law, an appeal is a petition to an appellate court to review the decision of a trial court, usually on the grounds that a conviction was wrongful, or the sentence handed down by the court was excessive. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in California, and you believe a legal error occurred during the trial that was prejudicial, meaning it made a difference in the outcome of your case, you may be able to appeal the conviction itself and/or the sentence imposed by the judge.
Habeas Corpus Petitions
A petition for a writ of habeas corpus is a legal tool convicted defendants who believe they are being unlawfully detained can use to challenge their imprisonment or the conditions of their imprisonment, usually after they have already tried and failed to overturn their criminal conviction on appeal. Pat Ford has experience handling both state writ of habeas corpus and federal writ of habeas corpus petitions and can ensure that your petition is as strong and persuasive as possible.
If you were convicted of a state crime and sentenced to an overly punitive term of imprisonment, and you are currently serving that sentence, you may be eligible to apply for a commutation, which, if granted, would reduce or eliminate your sentence. A commutation is a type of executive clemency that can only be granted by the governor of California.
SB 1437 and AB 2942 Petitions
Criminal law is always changing and evolving and sometimes the laws in California are amended in such a way that prisoners serving sentences for criminal convictions become eligible for release or a sentencing reduction. Senate Bill 1437, which was signed into law in September 2018, narrowed the circumstances under which a defendant can be found guilty of felony murder and made those convicted of felony murder under the old law eligible to have their murder conviction vacated and their sentence reduced. Assembly Bill 2942, which went into effect in January 2019, gives district attorneys the power to revisit prior cases and recommend sentence reductions for defendants who were sentenced under outdated guidelines, have been rehabilitated during their incarceration and are ready to re-enter society.
Why You Need a Criminal Appeals Lawyer
Being convicted of a crime is not something you should ever take lightly. The state of California is notoriously tough on crime and despite recent efforts to reform the California criminal justice system, the penalties handed down by the court for a criminal conviction in California can still be harsh and life-changing for convicted defendants and their loved ones alike. It is important to remember, however, that just because you have been found guilty of a crime does not mean your life is over. California law provides for several different options for post-conviction relief, and defendants who have a legitimate argument regarding their criminal conviction or sentence have the right to fight for their freedom by filing an appeal or post-conviction petition. At Pat Ford Appeals, we are passionate about protecting the rights of those who have been wrongfully convicted or harmed by some other miscarriage of justice and helping them move on with their lives as quickly as possible after a criminal conviction.
Contact Pat Ford Appeals for a Free Consultation
Attorney Pat Ford knows better than anyone that a criminal case doesn’t necessarily end with a conviction. Judges make mistakes, juries return the wrong verdict and prosecutors sometimes engage in improper behavior. Even defense attorneys fail to provide effective counsel to their clients in some cases. Fortunately, there are several options available to defendants who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime or subjected to an unreasonably harsh sentence and want to appeal their conviction or seek some other remedy from the court in the form of a post-conviction petition. If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in California and you believe a legal error was made during the pre-trial investigation, trial or sentencing hearing that affected the outcome of your case, or if you believe you may be eligible to have your sentence reduced or eliminated because of changes in the law, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced California criminal appeals lawyer. At Pat Ford Appeals, we represent clients in all matters related to criminal appeals and we offer a free consultation, which means you can have attorney Pat Ford review your case to determine whether you have grounds for an appeal or some other form of post-conviction relief.