Philadelphia, PA criminal defense lawyer Brian J. Zeiger explains the purpose of a direct appeal.
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For a direct appeal, what your arguing is that the judge or the DA made a mistake or cheated you or did something wrong in court. You’re arguing only about the conduct of either the DA or the judge. You’re not making any other argument. So, if there’s an evidentiary issue at trial that you felt should’ve gone your way, there was something that was let in or kept out that you felt should’ve been in. Or if you think that the DA withheld evidence from you or if you think that the DA made comments to the jury in her opening or her closing that were wrong that the judge didn’t grant a mistrial or didn’t correct, sentencing, constitutional issues, these are all things that we can bring up in the direct appeal.