Appeals

Georgia law allows you to appeal your conviction or sentence.

If you believe you have been wrongfully or unfairly convicted of a crime, your story isn’t over. Georgia law allows you to appeal your conviction or sentence. An appeal means that an appellate court will review your trial record to see if the proceedings were fairly and lawfully conducted. A successful appeal can result in your conviction being reversed or sent back to the trial court for a retrial.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is not a new trial. Rather, it involves asking an appeals court to review your trial record for legal errors. The purpose of an appeal is to identify these legal errors and, if they resulted in a serious violation of the rules of justice, the appeals court can either reverse the trial court’s ruling or “remand” the case (send the case back to the trial court) - in part or in full - to the lower court to make further decisions or for a retrial. In Georgia, appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Typically, two issues will arise in an appeal:

  • Whether the trial judge made any legal or procedural mistakes during the appeal that resulted in an unfair conviction or sentence, and
  • Whether your attorney failed to do his or her job properly in vigorously representing you, commonly referred to as “ineffective assistance of counsel.”

How does an appeal work?

When you appeal a case, you will walk through a specific process. 

First, you must specifically request the Court’s review. This will typically involve filing a brief, which is a statement claiming that the trial court made an error in its procedure, documenting that and backing it up with the law that supports it. The State will file an opposing brief. If your attorney deems it helpful or necessary, they can then file a response on your behalf.

The appellate court has its own internal process, whereby the judges review the briefs on both sides. In some cases, they will ask to hear oral arguments from the parties before making a decision.

Finally, the Court will issue a written decision about whether to affirm, reverse, or remand your case.

In scrutinizing a court record for errors, appellate judges will examine the case, piece by piece, to ensure that the trial court preserved or protected your rights at all times.

Can I appeal my conviction in Georgia?

All defendants have a right to appeal their convictions within thirty days of the trial court’s ruling by filing a motion for a new appeal or notice of appeal. Appeals are a critical part of the Georgia criminal defense system. Serious convictions are not the end of the road for defendants, whether the case was tried at the federal court level or in a county court. If you would like to learn more about appealing a conviction, it is best to contact a Georgia appellate attorney as soon as possible.

Should I hire a Georgia Appeals Attorney?

Appellate cases are highly technical and often center on issues of law rather than of fact. As such, appellate attorneys have a very different body of knowledge and experience than trial lawyers who are trained to seek and present evidence (facts). Appellate lawyers are accustomed to parsing cases to look for errors, so it is important to work with an attorney who has appellate court experience to handle your case.

Contact Our Office Today

The Law Firm of Abbi S. Taylor has the experience you need to appeal your criminal conviction or sentence. We have a proven track record that spans more than three decades, and we are proud to provide a voice for hundreds of individuals charged and convicted of criminal offenses.

The first step to receiving the representation you need is a free consultation to discuss the facts and strengths of your appeal. Contact Georgia appellate attorney Abbi Taylor today to schedule your free consultation by calling (404) 378-3555 or by using the form below.

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Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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