Even overturned convictions can harm your future without the right help

Police and prosecutors are human beings, just as fallible as the rest of us. Sometimes, they get it wrong, but are nonetheless able to convince a judge or jury to believe their version of events.

When this happens, defendants should engage the appeals process to clear their name with the help of an experienced criminal appellate attorney. Yet, individuals are finding that even after a conviction is overturned, their past — or at least the incorrect version of it put forth by prosecutors — can still come back to haunt them.

For Wisconsin Woman, Overturned Conviction Still Came Up in Background Checks

A recent investigation conducted by The New York Times explored the stories of several individuals who had been convicted of serious crimes, but whose convictions were later overturned. All of them faced substantial hurdles even after their release.

One of these individuals was Audrey Edmunds, a 52-year-old Wisconsin woman. Ms. Edmunds served years behind bars before her conviction was ultimately overturned in court. However, once released, Ms. Edmunds began applying for jobs, only to be continually denied because her overturned homicide conviction kept showing up on background checks.

“I’m glad to be out,” Ms. Edmunds told The New York Times, “but there’s got to be more support.” Ms. Edmunds likened her overturned conviction to a persistent dark cloud that has followed her long after her name should have been cleared.

Ms. Edmunds’ case is not unique, unfortunately. Getting someone’s record cleared after a conviction is overturned can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. What’s more, criminal background checks have become increasingly prevalent in modern society, and the criminal background check industry is a growing economic powerhouse. According to the nonprofit group The Papillon Foundation, one survey found that nine out of 10 companies use criminal background reports to make hiring decisions.

An Experienced Appellate Attorney Can Handle All Aspects of an Appealed Case

The appellate process is a horse of a different color compared to the standard trial level criminal case. On appeal, rather than challenging the alleged narrative of the case, your attorney must attack some legal error made at the trial level. This requires special training and expertise that even a criminal defense lawyer who is excellent at the trial level might not possess.

When you’ve been convicted of a crime, the first thing you need to be concerned with is getting your conviction overturned, a task that will be more easily accomplished with the help of a skilled appellate attorney. In addition to getting your conviction reversed, you also need an attorney equipped to handle the details that come with an appealed criminal case, like expunging records that could impact your future.

If you need to appeal a conviction, you should not gamble on an attorney without experience at the appellate level. Instead, do everything you can to fight for your freedom: Get in touch with an appellate attorney today.