It can take a long time to go through a full trial—and it is extremely frustrating to end up on the wrong side of the case. The good news is that you have the right to contest an unfavorable decision by a court in a criminal case or a civil case. In Washington, there are strict deadlines for filing an appeal. Failure to appeal before time expires could result in you losing out on your opportunity to challenge an unjust decision. Here, our Washington appeals attorneys provide an overview of the deadline to file an appeal and explain what happens if you wait too long to take action. 

30 Days to Appeal a Criminal Conviction or Civil Judgment in Washington

To initiate the appeals process in Washington, you must complete and submit a legal document called a notice of appeal. As explained by the Washington Courts, a notice of appeal in a criminal case or civil case must be filed within: 

  • 30 days of the entry of the decision by the court; or
  • By the deadline provided by state statute in Washington’s Rules of Appellate Procedure. 

In other words, the general deadline to appeal a criminal conviction or a civil judgment in Washington State is 30 days. However, state Rules of Appellate Procedure allow for some exceptions for certain types of cases. 

Limited Exceptions to a Criminal or Civil Appeal Deadline

Most legal proceedings in Washington are subject to a 30-day deadline for appeal. That being said, there are some exceptions. As an example, you have 60 days to file an appeal in a civil case in which the federal government, a federal agency, or an employee acting on behalf of the United States is one of the parties. Alternatively, a litigant who was not properly informed of their procedural rights by their trial attorney may have ineffective assistance of counsel claim. 

Miss the Appeal Deadline? You May Lose an Opportunity for a Hearing

State and federal appellate deadlines must be taken seriously. Both criminal convictions and civil judgments can only be appealed on relatively narrow grounds. A party considering challenging an adverse decision must file a notice of appeal to preserve their right to additional legal proceedings on the matter. If you received an unfavorable verdict in a criminal or civil case, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your rights. An experienced Washington appellate lawyer will explain the deadline of your case and help you prepare an appeal. 

Get Help From an Experienced Appeals Lawyer in Washington State

At The Appellate Law Firm, our Washington appeals attorneys are committed to providing top-quality, results-focused legal representation. If you have any questions or concerns about the deadline to appeal a criminal conviction or civil judgment, we can help. Call us now or contact us online for a strictly confidential, no-obligation evaluation of your case. With an office in Seattle, our attorneys handle criminal appeals throughout the State of Washington.

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