When one of my friends was convicted of a crime, he felt that the sentence that he was given greatly outweighed the crime that he had committed. He wanted to seek an appeal right away, but waited since he knew it was better to stop and gather information before diving back into court right away. He wanted to make sure that his appeal was actually worth something.
To make sure that he knew which parts of his case might be most relevant in the appeal, he ended up hiring a legal research service to make sure that he would be able to get this information. Due to the information that they were able to obtain, he was able to get a reduced sentence. My friend was very satisfied with the way that his case turned out as a result of the research.