Unfortunately, courts sometimes make mistakes. If a criminal or civil case does not go your way, you have the right to file an appeal. That being said, there are strict deadlines for initiating a criminal or civil appeal in California. If you fail to follow the deadline, you could lose out on your right to challenge an unfavorable judgment. Our California appellate attorneys provide an overview of the key deadlines to file an appeal and explain what happens if you miss them.
Appeals are Time-Sensitive: Know the Deadlines
To initiate the appeals process in a criminal or civil case, you must file a notice of appeal. As explained by The Judicial Branch of California, a notice of appeal is essentially a legal document that informs the counterparty “that you are appealing the court’s decision.” In California, the deadline to file a notice of appeal depends on the specific nature of the case. Here is a brief overview of the general timelines to start the appeals process:
- Criminal Appeal (Misdemeanor): Were you convicted of a misdemeanor offense in California? If so, you typically have 30 days from the date of the judgment to initiate your appeal.
- Criminal Appeal (Felony): In felony cases, California gives parties slightly more time to file a notice of appeal. In most felony cases, defendants have 60 days to file their notice of appeal.
- Civil Appeals ($25,000 or Less): If you received an unfavorable decision in a civil case that is valued at less than $25,000, then you have either 90 days from the judgment to appeal or 30 from the receipt of notice by the court clerk—whichever comes first.
- Civil Appeals ($25,000 or More): If you received an unfavorable decision in a civil case that is valued at greater than $25,000, then you have either 180 days from the judgment to appeal or 60 from the receipt of notice by the court clerk—whichever comes first.
Miss the Criminal or Civil Appeal Deadline in California?
The deadlines to appeal a judgment in California are strict. If you fail to file a notice of appeal in a timely manner, it could result in you missing out on your opportunity to challenge the unfavorable judgment. With very limited exceptions, a California court will summarily dismiss your case based on the missed deadline.
The Bottom Line: You need to be ready to take action as soon as possible after an adverse judgment is rendered. If you are considering filing an appeal, contact a California appellate lawyer immediately.
Trusted California Appellate Lawyers
Deadlines for criminal and civil appeals are strict. At The Appellate Law Firm, our California appeals attorneys are dedicated to justice. If you have any questions about deadlines in your case, our lawyers can help. We have the skills and experience to handle criminal appeals, civil appeals, and family law appeals. Contact us now for a strictly confidential review and evaluation of your case. With an office in Los Angeles, our firm provides appellate law representation throughout California.