In the United States, defendants in criminal cases have the right to appeal the decision that was made in their case if they feel that the decision was reached as a result of a court error. The appeals process allows defendants to have a fair trial and not to be subject to verdicts that were reached as a result of an unfair trial.
Adults are not the only people who can appeal their cases. Juveniles that are tried in juvenile court also have the right to appeal the decision made in their cases. If you want to make an appeal in a juvenile case, this page will give you the information that you need to do so.
When to Appeal
If you want to make an appeal to your case, it is important to know that an appeal is a response to a judge’s decision. Therefore, an appeal cannot be filed until a judge makes a final decision in your case. Sometimes, a final sentence or punishment is not determined until several weeks or even months after a judge has determined that the defendant is guilty. For this reason, you won’t be able to file the appeal until the sentence or punishment is imposed on you.
Once a punishment is determined, you have 20 days to file an appeal with a judge. While an appeal is pending, you will not have to serve your sentence. Only if the appeal is rejected will you have to begin serving your sentence or abiding by the punishments outlined by the judge.
Briefs in an Appeal
Once your appeal is filed, you and your attorney should begin to prepare your brief. The brief is the main component of your appeal. The brief is a document that goes over the facts of your case, the laws involved in your case, and the issues in your case that you are appealing. The brief is a chance for you to explain what legal errors occurred in your case.
The other side in your case will have the opportunity to write a reply brief, which will counter the arguments made in your brief. If you want to, you may file a reply brief to this brief with further arguments.
The Oral Argument
Once the briefs are filed and reviewed, you may explain the points in your brief during an oral argument. This is a 20-minute argument in which you can answer any questions that the judge has regarding your brief. After the oral argument, or after waiving your right to an oral argument, a decision will be made in your case.
If you want to file an appeal because you think that there was a legal error in your case, you should create the strongest argument possible. In order to do so, you should hire a lawyer with experience in juvenile cases and appeals cases. A juvenile defense lawyer will be able to assist you with the details of the juvenile court, and an appeals lawyer will know what paperwork to file, how to file it, and how to create a good appeals argument.