Can I file an appeal after I plea guilty in a federal or state criminal case?

Generally, when a person pleads guilty, they give up the majority of constitutional rights including the right to trial and the right to present evidence. After a guilty plea a person only has limited rights to appeal including from an illegal or excessive sentence.

In California state court if a person wants to appeal from something other than a sentence after pleading guilty, that person must generally obtain a certificate of probable cause. That is a document from the court saying that an appellate issue has possible merit.

In federal criminal matters, the government will often have a person sign a plea agreement saying that they give up rights to an appeal except when a judge gives a sentence greater than the plea bargaining range, the upper end of the guidelines.

In the Law Offices of Russell Babcock , we are unique in having both a great deal of trial and appellate experience. Mr. Babcock has tried more than one hundred fifty criminal trials and also written more than two hundred appeals, including working on six death penalty appeals. We are uniquely qualified to be your attorneys in any federal or state criminal matters.