Being arrested on criminal charges in South Carolina can be frightening. One of the worst things that can happen is receiving a conviction if you know the offense wasn’t nearly as serious or you’re completely innocent. In either situation, you should know how to file a criminal appeal.
Why should you file an appeal?
Criminal appeals are common after a conviction. Usually, an appeal is filed when it’s believed there has been an error made in the case or when the defendant believes the attorney wasn’t competent in handling the case.
It can be complex to appeal a conviction. In most cases, the court will determine whether there was a legal error made during the original case that led to the person’s conviction. If the person is innocent, the appeal can give them the opportunity to explain their side and prove their innocence.
Determine which court you can file with
Whenever criminal appeals are obtained, you must know which court should receive them. If you have recently been convicted of a crime in a state court, you should file with the Court of Appeals. However, depending on the circumstances, you might be able to file with the Supreme Court.
File a notice of appeal with the original court
Next, a Notice of Appeal must be filed. This notice informs the original court that you are planning to challenge its ruling. It must be issued within 10 days of your sentencing.
Criminal appeals like the Notice of Appeal must include certain important information. The name of the court, its county and the judge that issued the ruling should be included. The case’s docket number, date of the judgment and order or sentence being appealed should be recorded in the notice. You may also want to include the date that you received your judgment or order.
Include your name, your attorney’s name and the contact information of your attorney and others assigned to the case. Mention who they represent as well.
The Notice of Appeal has to be provided along with proof of service. There must also be a copy of the judgment or order and an explanation in writing about the purpose of the appeal.