You’ve just received a devastating DUI conviction and sentence. But you and your lawyer feel that this conviction and your sentence was reached in legal error. But what can you do after you’ve already been convicted and sentenced? You can appeal. Whether it’s at the state or federal court level, you have the option of appealing your DUI conviction. An appeal is when a higher court takes a close look at the process surrounding your case to determine whether any legal factors contributed to your DUI conviction or your sentencing.
When Should I Appeal My DUI Conviction?
As soon as possible! Many states require you to notify the courts and the government of your intent to appeal your case. But you should expect it to take several months for your appeal to be heard and decided by the court.
What to Expect During an Appeal Process
You will be referred to as the appellate and it’s your job to argue that due to mistakes in the legal system, the jury’s decision was affected, thus affecting your case. You may also argue that your sentence was affected because of legal errors. Your appeal should state that your case be dismissed or that you demand to be re-trialed or re-sentenced.
It’s important to understand that the appellate court will not look at any new evidence – they will only review the lower court’s case against you. They will take a look at the court reporter’s transcriptions, which contain everything said during the trial. The court will also review anything that was admitted into evidence.
When you file your appeal you are provided a written brief to the court, which includes an opening brief to challenge the conviction or sentencing against you. But the government (prosecution) will file its own brief describing why they believe the conviction and sentencing against you should remain. Most likely, you’ll have the opportunity to file a second brief countering the government’s brief against you. The appellate court may find it necessary to hear oral arguments from both you and the government before they reach a final decision on your appeal.
It’s important that you ask your DUI defense attorney to handle your appeal.