Appellate court can be difficult to explain without having someone else to guide you through it.
However, if you don’t know about appellate court or your case could be impacted by this kind of court, then it’s crucial that you learn the ins and outs of it so that you can plan the best strategy for your case.
If you want to become more familiar with appellate court and how it impacts your case, here’s everything you need to know about it.
How does the appellate process work?
In the event that you are not happy with the decision made by a lower court, your next option is to appeal.
The appellate process is a court proceeding where an appellate court reviews and assesses the decisions of lower courts.
Ultimately, the goal is for an appellate court to determine if there were any errors in law or fact made by the lower courts during their trial.
If so, then they can overturn or reverse the decision that was made. Generally speaking, it takes less time to hear an appeal than it does a case at the lower court level.
A decision on an appeals hearing is usually handed down within six months to one year from when it started.
It’s important to note that there are several stages of appeal including filing an intent to appeal (or petition), requesting permission to file an opening brief, filing the opening brief, requesting permission to file a reply brief, filing a reply brief, and waiting for judgment.
There may be more stages depending on the number of levels in which you’re appealing.
Who hears appeals?
Appeals can be heard by a panel of three judges from the lower court, or by all of the judges in that court.
In either case, the appellate court will decide based on the written briefs and oral arguments made.
However, it is up to the lower court judge how much information about the trial should be provided to the appellate court.
If the higher court reverses (throws out) the lower court’s decision, then the appeals process begins anew at the original trial level.
If not, then there are no further appeals available after this point and the decision becomes final.
The appellate court has two options for rulings: affirm (uphold) the lower court’s decision or reverse (overturn) the lower court’s decision.
The stare decisis doctrine suggests that an appellate court should usually uphold a previous ruling unless some new evidence comes to light, but this idea is not absolute.
What are the grounds for an appeal?
An appeal is a legal proceeding in which one party seeks to overturn the ruling of a lower court.
The grounds for an appeal can include that the lower court made a mistake of law, that the lower court’s decision was against public policy, or that the lower court did not use proper procedure when making its decision.
The appellant usually has the burden of showing errors and also proving that they have a right to be heard.
If the appellate court agrees with this argument, then they may agree to hear the case and make their own judgment on it.
If the appellate court does not agree with this argument, then they will uphold the original decision from the lower court. legal fees often cost hundreds of dollars.
In order to ensure a fair hearing, only lawyers can present arguments before the higher courts.
In order for your appeal to succeed, you must prove that there are good reasons for overturning the lower court’s decision.
What happens if an appeal is granted?
If an appeal is granted, the appellate court will review your case and make a determination.
If they uphold the original decision, you can either pay the fine or seek other legal action.
If the original decision is overturned, you will be able to avoid paying any fines or fees associated with the infraction.
However, this does not guarantee that your driving privileges are reinstated right away.
For example, if you were found guilty of driving while impaired and were suspended for two years but appealed the suspension only six months in, then even if the appellate court ruled in favor of your appeal, it will still take at least another year before your driving privileges are reinstated again.
How long does an appeal take?
The length of an appeal is largely dependent on the complexity of the case, but it can take anywhere from a few months up to a few years.
Cases are often heard in chronological order, which means that cases with a longer duration will have had less time passing when they’re finally heard.
The first step for any appellant filing a writ of certiorari is filing the petition and paying the required fee.
To file for certiorari, you’ll need to pay $400 for your appellate brief ($200 if you’ve been previously convicted) and an additional $400 for your transcript (optional if your appellate brief cites evidence from lower courts).
If granted, you’ll then be assigned an appellate lawyer by the court system who will be in charge of presenting your argument.
After this has been completed, all parties present their arguments before a panel of three judges.
Judges ask questions of both parties throughout the hearing process and deliberate before announcing their decision- whether or not to overturn the lower court’s decision.
How much does an appeal cost?
The cost of an appeal can range from $1,000-$2,000. The exact amount will vary depending on the complexity of the case and your lawyer’s experience.
Some factors that may affect the price include how many briefs are filed, how many witnesses there are, how long it takes to prepare for trial, etc.
If you cannot afford an attorney who is experienced in appellate cases and you’re willing to do some work yourself then you might consider self-representation.
For example, if you live in one state but get a traffic ticket in another state and want to contest the ticket because of a technicality that only applies in the first state, it would be much cheaper to represent yourself than hire a lawyer from the other state.
However, if this were not a straightforward case where all facts were clearly laid out or easily provable without going into depth or cross-examining witnesses then you should consult with an experienced appellate attorney before deciding not to hire representation.