Hopewell Appeals Lawyer

If you receive a negative outcome in a criminal matter, you still may have another chance for a higher court to reconsider your case. The appeals process is set in place to protect the rights of individuals from the government. Do not hesitate to take advantage of your rights to seek out an appeal.

Appeals are not available in every circumstance, but the rules are more liberal in criminal issues than for civil matters.

The appellate process can differ from the trial procedure. There are rules of procedure to which the defendant must adhere. A knowledgeable attorney may make all the difference in result.

Speak with a Hopewell appeals lawyer who can explain your eligibility for an appeal and what you can expect going forward. Typically, there is a small window of time in which you can request an appeal. Do not delay in making a decision on what you want to do.

Appellate Courts in Hopewell

General District Court

Misdemeanors and traffic offenses are usually dealt with in the General District Court. If a defendant wishes to appeal one of those issues, the case will be heard “de novo” in the Circuit Court. De novo means “from new.” The Circuit Court will not consider anything that occurred in the General District Court and will consider the case with fresh eyes. The defendant can always appeal from the General District Court to the Circuit Court.

Circuit Court

The Circuit Court hears cases related to felonies. A felony charge means the defendant may face one year or more in prison. These are more serious matters and the Circuit Court is considered more sophisticated than the General District Court. Once the Circuit Court decides an issue, the defendant may appeal that to the Court of Appeals.

Court of Appeals

If a proper petition for an appeal is made, the Court of Appeals will hear the case. The procedure in this court is different from the District or Circuit Courts. There may be one to three judges who decide the case. There is no jury. The parties submit briefs to the court that outline the issues, which are based on questions of law.

The court will not allow the parties to submit new evidence and the parties may not conduct any discovery. Instead, the judges will rely on the facts determined by the lower court, unless there are reasons not to.

The party defending against the appeal may file motions to dismiss or other motions that state that the matter should not be heard for appeal or that particular issues brought up by the appellant should be excluded or not considered by the court.

The Court of Appeals can hear an appeal on any final matter decided by a lower court. This means that a defendant may appeal a guilty ruling by the Circuit Court. An arrested person may also appeal a bail decision.

Supreme Court of Virginia

It is possible to appeal a decision made by the Court of Appeals. However, the Supreme Court has the discretion to decide whether they wish to hear the case or not. Typically, the Supreme Court will only grant a petition for certiorari if multiple appellate courts have different outcomes on the same issue or it appears that the appellate court made a mistake.

Seek Out a Hopewell Appeals Attorney Today

The appellate process is not the same as a criminal trial. A different set of skills is required, and there are many procedures which must be carefully followed before a court will hear an appeal. It may be vital to receive advice and help from an attorney who has experience with the process and the skills to argue in front of a board of judges.

Talk to a Hopewell appeals lawyer to learn about what you can expect if you decide to appeal your issue and whether you even can. Time is very important in the appellate process, so do not delay.