Appealing a court decision

| Oct 8, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

It can be frustrating for defendants in Greenville, North Carolina, to still be found guilty regardless of the best efforts of their attorneys. Some defendants opt for a plea bargain to avoid a trial. In either of these cases, he or she may be able to file an appeal. Appeals may only be used for challenging cases with errors. Here is what could happen when a defendant files an appeal.

Are appeals automatic?

A defendant has the right to appeal, but he or she has to initiate the process. The attorney will need the court’s permission to file an appeal and appellate brief to argue the case. Defendants who pleaded no contest usually have more difficulty appealing.

Timing, appellate briefs, court transcripts and retrials

The defendant’s lawyer should file the notice of appeal by the deadline. Courts seldom give someone another chance if the filing deadline has passed.

The defendant will need a good reason for missing the deadline. This makes it important to make an effort to file an appeal on time. The attorney should order a court transcript after filing an appeal notice.

Developing a new trial strategy or wanting to change attorneys cannot be included in an appeal. A judge will only review the case to find errors, such as a coerced confession or violations of due process.

Possible outcomes

Several possible outcomes may happen after an appeal. The court could decide that the decision still stands. The judge may decree that further proceedings are needed or reverse the decision and order a new trial. A defendant still may be able to seek relief in higher court through a writ of habeas corpus.

A defendant does not have to accept decisions that he or she thinks are unfair. An individual should immediately seek the services of an appeals lawyer if he or she believes errors have been made.