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Appealing a Misdemeanor -

      A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that can be punished by county jail for up to one year or by fine or by both jail and fine, but not by time in state prison. (See Penal Code §17 and 19.2). If you were also convicted of a felony in your case, then your case is treated as a felony case, not a misdemeanor case.

Notice of Appeal

      A misdemeanor 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 misdemeanor is the Superior Court, Limited Jurisdiction, the appeal would be heard by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

      You have thirty days from the date of the judgment or order to file the Notice of Appeal; a late notice will not be accepted. 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 (Misdemeanor).

Court Appointed Lawyer

      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 misdemeanor 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: Request for Court-Appointed Lawyer in Misdemeanor.

New Evidence

      An appeal is not going to be a new trial. The Appellate Division 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. The original trial is the time to present all of your witnesses and all of your exhibits. There is no filing fee for a criminal appeal.

Appellate Division

       The Appellate Division 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 Appellate Division can also be asked to see if there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict. The Appellate Division will generally not reconsider the original case to see if they would have decided it differently.

- Written by , Attorney at Law





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