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. Learn more here!
The court has fifteen judges, including a chief and presiding judges. 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 appellate jurisdiction. The judges may also certify legal questions to be decided by the Supreme Court in deserving cases.
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.
- Cases involving title to land
- Equity cases and cases involving extraordinary remedies except for those concerning proceedings in which a sentence of death was imposed or could be imposed and those concerning the execution of a sentence of death. Criminal appeals in such cases are handled exclusively by the Georgia Supreme Court.
- Divorce and alimony cases
- Correction of errors of law in cases involving the crimes of armed robbery, rape, and kidnapping wherein the death penalty has not been imposed
- All other cases are not reserved for the Supreme Court or conferred on other courts.
Despite being an intermediate appellate court, Georgia Court of Appeals decisions usually conclude most Georgia cases due to the limited jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. If you’re dealing with a criminal case, you must take your appeal seriously, as it could be your last shot at avoiding a criminal conviction.
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, you must 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. According to 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 Georgia Constitution requires the court 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 bench 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.
Generally, yes. You will need a lawyer’s help when filing an appeal and making the necessary arguments at the Georgia Court of Appeals. This is because appealing a case requires specific legal knowledge and expertise. It’s also important to have an experienced team at the appellate court that can make compelling arguments and protect your rights.
Your lawyer will help you prepare the necessary documents and guide you. They will also review your case’s relevant legal aspects to determine if there was an error in the lower court’s decision or conviction. With their help, you’ll have a better chance of getting a favorable outcome.
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 happily 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.