How Does the Appeal Process Work?

If you were convicted of a crime, you may feel that you did not get fair treatment in court. While the criminal court process includes a trial, the appellate process is different. You may only file an appeal to dispute the law and how it was applied in the original case. In other words, you cannot argue the results of the case but only any legal errors in the trial proceedings. It is essential to obtain an experienced attorney to assist with an appeal. Your attorney will review the entire transcripts and information from the trial to determine whether you have a case that you can appeal.

Steps in the Appeal Process

An appeal is a legal argument that must follow the specific appellate process. The first step is to file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the trial court. In most instances, an appeal can only be made from a final order in a case. You have a limited length of time to file an appeal following a final judgment, which is typically 30 days. Either party may request an appeal. The party that requests an appeal is known as the appellant. Immediately upon filing an appeal, you must provide instructions for the transcripts or records of the trial. You must also identify the parties in the case.

The judge will review the briefs in the case. The briefs are written legal arguments with facts that should be considered to interpret the correctness of the law as it was applied to the initial case. The brief process is a back and forth process completed in writing. Some appellate cases include oral arguments in front of the judge. The appellate court will issue a written decision about the appeal.

What to Expect During the Appeals Process

The appeal process is primarily a written one, and the evidence in the case is not part of the procedure. Federal and state appeals are handled in a similar manner, although the court that hears the appeal may be different. Most Florida appeals go through the District Court of Appeal or through the circuit court in the county where the original trial took place. There are five district courts of appeal in Florida. The Fifth District Court of Appeal is located in Daytona Beach and handles cases from Brevard County.

If you lose on appeal, you have the right to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. However, they have the right to refuse cases. Federal case appeals are typically handled in U.S. District Courts and can be appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The 11th Circuit, located in Atlanta, handles cases from Florida. If the case loses in the U.S. Court of Appeals, you have the right to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appeal process involves legal review and not another trial. However, if you win on appeal, you may be able to obtain a new trial on the original matter, depending on the situation. It is best to discuss the details of your case and appeal with your attorney, since every case is different. Contact our legal team at Henderson Legal Group to learn more about the legal process.