Understanding how many criminal appeals can be made

| Mar 31, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

Criminal defense in South Carolina is not limited to the trial. After the trial has been completed, criminal appeals might be necessary. For people who are concerned about how to lodge an appeal, one key aspect is understanding how many appeals are allowed under the law.

When a trial court or any lower court makes a final judgment in a case, there can be only one appeal to the next level court. The initial appeal is called the “appeal as of right.” Therefore, the chances for a successful appeal hinge on how many courts are above the court that made the prior decision. The basis of the appeal is also important.

States with large populations offer a greater likelihood that there will be several levels of appeal available. Smaller states have fewer levels. When filing an appeal, there are two actions involved: First is the notice of appeal, and next is the appellate brief. The notice of appeal will tell the court that the appeal is being made. It is generally sent by the person’s legal representative. There is a time frame in which the appeal must be made. The appellate court will not decide on the case without it adhering to the time limits. Criminal appeals must generally be filed within 10 days. Once the appeal is filed, it must detail why the lower court’s ruling was wrong, find the specific error in the transcript and cite it.

Being convicted for criminal charges can have a negative impact on a person’s life in myriad ways. Fortunately, there are levels of appeal to call the case into question and perhaps achieve a better result. Criminal appeals may require legal assistance.