Your Complete Guide to the Georgia Court of Appeals
Before visiting the Georgia Court of Appeals, you should know more about it. The firm of Strickland Webster, L.L.C. offer this guide. Call us for information!
The court has fifteen judges, including a chief judge and a presiding judge. The judges hear cases in panels of three across five divisions. Its primary role is to hear civil or criminal appeals from trial courts in the state, except in cases where the Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction. The judges may also certify legal questions to be decided by the Supreme Court in deserving cases.
As an appeal court, the Court of Appeals does not conduct new trials. It will only review the record from the lower court and hear oral arguments from the parties if there are issues of law involved. Nevertheless, it is still an opportunity to challenge an unfavorable decision or for convicted persons to regain their freedom or at least get off on easier terms. As such, the process shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The information provided here offers some clarity to help you understand the appeal court process and help you prepare for your appeal adequately. Keep reading to learn more.
Discretionary Appeals: A discretionary appeal can only proceed with the permission of the appeal court. The types of cases subject to discretionary appeals are listed in section 5-6-35 of the Georgia Code. In those instances, the appellant would need to file a petition to convince the court that their appeal is worth hearing. Such petitions must be filed at the Court of Appeals within 30 days from when the unfavorable decision was reached.
Each kind of appeal follows different rules and procedures depending on the subject matter of the case and the type of decision being challenged. If you’re unsure which type of appeal applies in your case, you can consult your attorney for personalized legal advice.
At the end of the appeal process, the court would affirm or reverse the lower court’s decision or send the case back to the trial court for further proceedings. But the court would usually not reverse a lower court’s decision unless an error occurred during the trial that led to a miscarriage of justice. As the appellant, it is your duty to show the appeal court that the decision against you or conviction was made in error. You can consult a skilled criminal appeals attorney to learn how.
Cases at the Court of Appeals are scheduled according to statutory requirements. By the Georgia Code, the Georgia Court of Appeals sits for three terms annually. The December term starts in December and ends on March 31 of the following year. The April term begins in April and ends on July 17, while the August term ends on November 18. If the statutory dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the term will end on the closest business day before the given date.
Once a case is scheduled to be heard in a specific term, the court is required by the Georgia Constitution to conclude the case and give a decision before the end of the next term. Cases are scheduled in a way that allows the court to comply with this rule.
The court also has specific dates for hearings and arguments- usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the court is in session. But the court can schedule cases for argument on other days if necessary. These dates are published online in the court’s oral argument calendar. You can check the calendar to confirm the scheduling information if your case is pending.
Need Help With Your Case at the Georgia Court of Appeals? Contact Experienced Georgia Appeals Lawyers Today
Dealing with a criminal conviction is not something anyone would wish for, considering the associated penalties and consequences. An appeal offers you a second chance to have your case reviewed by a higher court and could change the outcome of your case for the better. Even if you believe all hope is lost, an appeal might signal light at the end of the tunnel, and it is worth exploring. After all, what do you have to lose?
If you’ve decided to explore this option or are unsure of your choices, you could start by speaking with a court of appeal lawyer at Strickland Webster LLC. Our notable results speak for us. We’d be happy to apply our wealth of experience in criminal appeals and post-conviction reliefs for your benefit.
Contact us today to assess your case and decide on the next line of action.