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What is the Criminal Appeals Process?

When most people think about the court system, they only consider the trial level of court. If you lose your criminal trial, however, your legal options are not exhausted. You have the option to appeal your criminal conviction to the appellate court, but you only have a small window of time to do so after your conviction at the trial level. That is why it is important to secure the services of an experienced criminal appellate attorney as soon as possible to represent you in your appeal. To learn more about the criminal appeals process, call or contact The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal appellate lawyer. 

Filing a Notice for Appeal 

The first step in the criminal appeals process is filing a Notice of Appeal on the case. You can only appeal a final conviction, so the trial must be completed before appealing a decision in the case. For misdemeanors and infractions, you have 30 days from the final judgment to file an appeal. For felony convictions, the statute of limitations is extended to sixty days to file a Notice for Appeal along with a Certificate of Probable Cause. If you wait too long to file a Notice for Appeal, the court can throw it out and bar you from appealing the decision of the trial court.

Submitting the Record

The next step in the criminal appeals process is submitting the record of the trial to the appellate court. Unlike the trial level, no new evidence or witnesses are allowed on appeal. The appellate court reviews the record of the trial, which includes a transcript of the case, all evidence submitted, and witness testimony. The appellate court will also review the jury instructions, any transcripts of preliminary hearings, and any written sentencing information. Submitting a full record is important because it is the basis for all appellate arguments that the trial erred in either fact or law when convicting you of criminal charges.

Written and Oral Arguments

The last stage of a criminal appeal is comprised of written and oral arguments. Your appellate attorney will draft a written brief that lays out the arguments of your case. The written brief will be submitted along with the record of the trial court for appellate review. Your attorney will also be given the opportunity to argue your case in front of appellate judges during oral arguments, where each side has the opportunity to explain in person why the trial court did or did not make an error in your criminal case. After oral arguments, the appellate court will deliberate on your case and either affirm the conviction of the trial court, reverse the conviction, or remand the case back to the trial court with an opinion on a specific issue. 

Talk to Our Office Now

 To learn more about the criminal appeals process, call or contact The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.