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Appealing a Felony -


       A felony is a criminal offense that can be punished by death or time in state prison. (See Penal Code §17). If you were also convicted of a felony in your case, then your case is treated as a felony case, not a misdemeanor case.

Court of Appeal

       A felony appeal is a request to a higher court to review a decision made by the lower court concerning your case. Since the trial court for the felony is the Superior Court, Unlimited Jurisdiction, the appeal would be heard by the Court of Appeal. You have 60 days from the date of the judgment or order to file the Notice of Appeal; a late notice will not be accepted. A death penalty conviction is appealed automatically directly to the California Supreme Court. You must file your Notice of Appeal at the clerk's office where the trial was heard. The Notice of Appeal form can be obtained at the California Court web site: Notice of Appeal - Felony (Defendant).

The Criminal Appellate Attorney

       A person generally has the right to represent him/her self or to be represented by an attorney. Since an appeal is usually a complicated matter, it is best to get the advice of a criminal appellate attorney. You always have the right to hire your own attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be entitled to a court appointed attorney to handle your felony appeal. If you think you might want to get a court-appointed attorney for your appeal, you can obtain the necessary form and information at the California Court web site: Notice of Appeal - Felony (Defendant). (This is the same form used when appealing a felony).

       An appeal is not going to be a new trial. The Court of Appeal will not consider any new evidence such as a witness who did not testify at the original trial any other type of new evidence that was not presented earlier unless you can establish a valid reason why the new evidence was not available before. As a general rule, the original trial is the time to present all of your witnesses and all of your exhibits.

When the Court Considers an Appeal

       The Court of Appeal will consider an appeal that claims that errors were made in the jury instructions about the law or some other type of error in court procedure that caused prejudice to your case. The Court of Appeal can also be asked to see if there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict. The Court of Appeal will generally not reconsider the original case to see if they would have decided it differently. There is no filing fee for a criminal appeal but there could be fees for the reporter's transcripts.

- Written by , Attorney at Law

 

 

 

 



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