An Overview of the Criminal Defense Process

The criminal justice system comes with many different processes, which means you need someone skilled in all of them by your side to ensure you walk away from your trial with the best possible results. Brennan Defense is a criminal defense law firm that provides you with a trial lawyer who is ready to help you from the moment you are accused of a crime until your case is fully finished. This includes assisting you with the motions, writs, appeals, and expungement processes.

Fighting for your freedom is something you should never take lightly. That is why it is important for you to retain the assistance of an attorney throughout your entire trial process. We are able to help you protect your rights and defend yourself against any charges that are brought up against you. Furthermore, we can continue to provide you help after a trial to ensure the best possible results. The end of your trial is not always the end of your case. That is why our criminal defense attorney continues to help you until the very end.

Appeal Process

If your case proceeded to trial, you were convicted, and you believe that justice may not have been served, you have the right to appeal your conviction. After a felony conviction, you have up to 60 days from the date of sentencing in which you can file an appeal. If your appeal is not filed within this time frame, however, you may lose your right to appeal. That is why you must have a skilled attorney by your side.

Unlike a trial, which focuses on the facts of what happened in your case, an appeal questions how the trial court applied the law to those facts or something that might have occurred, such as improper jury instructions, which caused an incorrect result in the trial verdict. As a result, successfully appealing a case requires a different type of skill and experience from what’s required to be a successful trial lawyer. Mr. Brennan’s extensive experience handling appellate matters both as a former prosecutor and as a defense attorney ensures he has the advocacy skills needed to be an exceptional appellate attorney.

Motion for a New Trial

A motion for a new trial is available only after you have been convicted, but before you have been sentenced. Unlike an appeal, which uses the trial record to examine the legal decision at trial, a motion for a new trial actually results in a completely new trial where our attorney can start over and aggressively defend you. A motion for a new trial can be appropriate in situations, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • You Were Absent From the Trial Proceedings for a Long Time
  • There Was Jury, Prosecutor, or Judge Misconduct
  • Newly-Discovered Evidence Is Found That Will Help Your Case
  • You Had Other Defense Counsel in Your Trial That Was Ineffective
  • A Spectator in the Case Did Something That Affected the Result

Legal Assistance with Writs

Writs of habeas corpus are generally seen as extraordinary remedies that are only appropriate when you have no other options available to you, not even an appeal. The purpose of a writ is to correct a trial court’s mistake. While an appeal is based solely on the record made at trial, a writ can include evidence that may not have been introduced, but should have been. For example, if the prosecutor has some evidence that would have exonerated you and they did not introduce it at the trial, but we find out about it later, filing a writ would be an appropriate action. Writs can also be used if you plead guilty to a crime and never go to trial.

In some cases, there may be errors that occurred at trial that do not appear on the trial record. In these situations, it may be appropriate to file both an appeal and a writ.


Contact us to learn more about how our attorney can help you before, during, and after your court sessions. Our criminal defense services are available to clients located throughout the communities of Sacramento, Rosemont, La Riviera, Florin, and Fair Oaks, California, as well as the surrounding areas.