Strong Criminal Defense Appeals

Facing criminal charges can put you in a vulnerable position. It is especially intimidating to go through the process of an appeal after the court rules against you. As you go through the process, you become more and more aware of the impact a conviction could have on your life.

As the prosecution works on the case against you, it is essential to have an experienced advocate working on your defense. The team of lawyers at the office of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, can help you continue your defense.

Federal and State Appeals

Our firm has a long history of handling appeals at all levels in both State and Federal Court. Federal cases from the Eastern District of Tennessee are appealed first to the Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to the United States Supreme Court. State cases in Tennessee are appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals, then to the Tennessee Supreme Court, and then to the United States Supreme Court. You have a right to first tier appellate review, but further review must be granted by the higher court.

At Summers, Rufolo, and Rodgers, we have attorneys licensed to file appeals in all levels of Tennessee Courts, in the Sixth Circuit, and in the United States Supreme Court. While our firm can be hired for an appeal after the case has been through the trial court level, it is important to hire counsel at the trial level that will prepare the case for a potential appeal and make sure not to waive issues and to make a complete record. An inexperienced trial or appellate attorney may waive issues at the trial level which will make success on those issues in the appellate court very difficult.

Demonstrated Experience

Our firm recently represented clients in two important cases regarding Tennessee DUI laws. These two cases challenged:

  • DUI roadblocks. Many rules help ensure that roadblocks are run properly. In 2018, our firm fought a DUI conviction regarding an improper checkpoint and won. In the case, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals stressed the importance of the guidelines for DUI checkpoints and found the challenged checkpoint to be unconstitutional.
  • Implied consent DUI testing. Although the Tennessee Supreme Court did not agree with us after the Court of Criminal Appeals did, our firm's appellate work in this case paved the way for a change in Tennessee legislation. The $250 fee that initially went to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for every conviction that it obtained, now goes to the state's general fund and does not award a fee to the TBI based on convictions obtained.

A criminal conviction can have lasting consequences. We advocate for your rights and your future.

Learn More About Your Appeal

We understand the criminal appeals process and how to help your case move forward. We offer a free consultation so you can learn more about the appeals process and what options are available for your situation.

To schedule an appointment in our Chattanooga office, contact us online or call 423-933-2738.