An appeal is a review of your criminal case
by some other court that is a higher courtthan the one that heard your
matter. The purpose of an appeal is to challenge the ruling or the decision
that was made by the lower court. Timing is very important and it is
crucial to follow the correct procedures for an appeal.
is an Appellate Attorney?
It is usually best to obtain the assistance of an appellate attorney
as appeals are a specialized area of criminal law. It is imperative
to hire an appellate attorney very early, even before your case goes
to trial. A good criminal appellate
attorney can persuade an audience of judges almost exclusively on
written arguments that emphasize a detailed analysis of the trial testimony
and the applicable law to the case. For more information on this subject
read the following articles.
in Error: Common Mistakes Made in Appeals by Scott P. Stolley of
Thompson & Knight LLP
Appellate Attorneys Actually Do? by Howard J. Bashman
The process for an appeal depends on whether the case is an infraction,
a misdemeanor or a felony. Listed below and in this section of criminal
law are the different types of appeals.
- A felony is a criminal offense that can be punished by death or time in state
prison. Since the trial court for the felony is the Superior Court, Unlimited
Jurisdiction, the appeal would be heard by theCourt of Appeal. You have 60 days
from the date of the judgment or orderto 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.
- 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.
You have 30 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 most common type of infractions would be traffic tickets or
violations of some city or county ordinance. The court that will hear
your appeal is the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. The notice
of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the trial court makes
it judgment or order.
Written by Patrick
H. Kelly, Attorney at Law