What are the grounds for a successful criminal appeal in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, over 20,000 people will typically be convicted of a DUI each year, as reported by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. At times, a guilty verdict can be handed down to even defendants with the best lawyers or evidence in their favor. You cannot control the outcome of a criminal case, and justice is not always served. Recognizing that trial courts do not always get it right, our legal system offers the appellate process, whereby defendants can appeal their conviction and potentially achieve a reversal of the case. Appealing your DUI conviction can be a lengthy process, but it could potentially remove the conviction from your permanent record and erase the sentence you are serving. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers discuss the appellate process and grounds for an appeal below.
Timeline for Filing an Appeal
Per Georgia law, you have 30 days from the date of the judgment to file an appeal. Failure to timely file an appeal could mean loss of your right to appeal the verdict. Appeals are quite technical in nature and must comply strictly with the law. You will need an experienced criminal law attorney to draft and file your appeal.
Grounds for Appeal
It is important to understand that an appeal is not the chance for another trial. The appellate court will review the proceedings of the trial court to determine if a legal error occurred. Legal errors could include the admittance of evidence that should have been excluded, improper jury instructions, ineffective assistance of counsel, or jury bias, among other grounds. Your attorney will carefully review the trial transcript to ascertain whether any legal errors were made which undermine the reliability of the verdict.
Upon reviewing your appeal, the appellate court has the power to either affirm the verdict, meaning it will be upheld, modify the verdict or send it back to the trial court, or vacate the lower court decision. A successful appeal could potentially mean a reversal of your DUI conviction.
The appellate process is complex and legally technical, but for those who believe an error was made during the trial, filing an appeal could give you a chance at justice. Contact a DUI attorney today for a review of your case and an individualized assessment of your rights on appeal.