Going to court is often a scary and overwhelming process. While you hope for the best, this may not be the outcome achieved.
While an unfavorable verdict may be disappointing, it doesn’t mean you don’t have options. At this point, you can appeal the decision. However, just like any court-related issue, the appeal process can be complex, so it’s important to know as much about it as possible.
How appeals work in criminal cases
The prosecution cannot file an appeal for a “not guilty” verdict and then put someone on trial again using the same evidence. In contrast, any defendant who has been convicted can file an appeal, which asks a higher court to review the lower court’s decision and either modify it, reverse it or remand the case back for a new trial.
Prosecuting attorneys can, however, appeal rulings during the trial before a verdict is issued. These are called interlocutory appeals. These are commonly used if a judge rules for evidence to be suppressed during the proceedings. Such appeals sometimes slow down a trial.
The appeals process after a conviction can be very slow, which is why it’s so important to have a robust defense from the start of a case.
Understanding your rights in the appeal process
If you plan to file an appeal, it must be done with the next higher court in the system where your case started. Working with a professional in the field is the best option. Remember that technical rules often apply to the appeal process, so it is often more complex and confusing than a regular criminal trial. Having someone who knows the process can help you significantly in these situations.