How Can You File an Appeal in a Criminal Case?

Filing an appeal in a criminal case is a strategic, sometimes even risky choice. It is important to understand how the appeals process works in Maryland so that you can make choices confidently alongside your attorney. If a defendant does not like the outcome of his or her case, they can appeal the case depending on the circumstances. Of course, the goal of appealing is to get a more favorable ruling for the defendant, however this is not always the outcome. That is why it is important to be cautious and deliberate when filing for an appeal in a criminal case.

Cases Beginning in District Court

If your criminal case is originally heard in the Maryland District Court and you would like to get a better outcome for your case, you can file an appeal with Circuit Court within 30 days of sentencing. Note that you will file this appeal with the District Court, which will then transfer your request to Circuit Court. When a case is heard in Circuit Court, nothing from the District Court is used. In other words, cases are newly heard in Circuit Court with no influence from the previous trial. It is important to think over this decision carefully, and with legal counsel. It is possible that the Circuit Court judge could give a harsher ruling than the one given in District Court. Your attorney will have expert knowledge from experience of how the rulings in these respective courts tend to go, and can advise you accordingly.

Appellate Courts in Maryland

The Court of Special Appeals is the next step after Circuit Court, but filing for an appeal on this level is much harder. This is because the cases on this level are centered around proving that there was an error or injustice in trial rather than simply reviewing the case facts again and making a decision. As a result, a defendant must build a case that there was a violation of this sort. In rare cases, claims may go to the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in Maryland. This court only tries cases in which an aspect of the Constitution is in question, so it is unlikely that the average appealed criminal case would end up in that court.

File an Appeal in a Criminal Case with Legal Counsel

Cases are expensive, and so are the appeals which may come after. Work with an experienced attorney like those at the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Law, who can give you a realistic, balanced look at your potential risks and benefits of getting a better ruling on your case. To get a consultation, schedule an appointment today.

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