What Are Some of the Steps in the Criminal Appeal Process?


Quick Answer

The first step in the criminal appeal process is to file a Notice of Appeal in which the appellant advises of his intent to appeal the conviction or the sentence, About.com notes. Defendants can also initiate an appeal by making a motion asking the trial judge to overturn the verdict, moving for a new trial, or seeking a writ, which is asking a higher court to reverse the conviction, Nolo says.

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Full Answer

During the appeals process, the appellate court receives the record of the criminal trial and all of the decisions made leading up to the trial, About.com says. The appellant's attorney files a written brief that outlines the legal error that affected the conviction of the appellant. The prosecution files a written brief advising the appellate court why the ruling was appropriate. Finally, the appellant can file a follow-up rebuttal brief after the prosecution files its brief.

Defendants convicted of a crime have a right to have their conviction reviewed by an intermediate appellate court if they comply with the time limits for requesting an appeal, Nolo says. The deadline to file in most states is within 10 days of the decision, About.com states. Some appeals, such as those for infraction or misdemeanor cases, may go to the appellate division of the superior court, Nolo explains.

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