After the Trial — The Appeal Process
If you are found guilty after a trial, you have the right to an appeal process. There are many reasons for an appeal of a criminal case, but appeals are also very difficult, so talk to a lawyer to make sure you know what is best for you.
There are also important deadlines that apply to appeals. If you miss the deadline, your appeal will most likely be dismissed.
- For misdemeanor cases, you must file a Notice of Appeal (Misdemeanor) (Form CR-132) within 30 days of the date of the judgment or order.
- For felony cases, you must file a Notice of Appeal — Felony (Defendant) (Form CR-120) within 60 days of the date of the judgment or order.
Keep in mind that the appeal is not a new trial. The appellate court can review the evidence (testimony and exhibits) presented at your trial to see if the trial court made a legal error in how the testimony or exhibits were received. The appellate court does NOT decide the facts of the case as the judge or jury in the trial court does.
You can only appeal if:
If you say there was not enough evidence in your trial to justify the judgment, the appellate court will review the record and decide if there was substantial evidence to support the judgment. If you say mistakes of law were made, the appellate court will hold a hearing to listen to both parties. Then they will decide if there was any irregularity or mistake that prejudiced (hurt) your case.
In addition to appealing after a trial, there are other situations when you can file an appeal, like appealing the validity of a plea or probation violations. Talk to your lawyer to learn more about your options to appeal.