How Successful Are Appeals in Georgia?
How successful are appeals in Georgia? For answers to this and other questions about appeals in Georgia, get in touch with Strickland Webster, LLC.
At this point, you might be wondering what the chances of success are for criminal appeals in the state and whether the process is worth it. The short answer is that most criminal appeals in Georgia do not succeed. Regardless it is a chance that is worth taking.
Below we explore recent data on the outcome of appeals filed at the Georgia Court of Appeals to support this position. We also share some ideas that could help you improve your chances of a successful appeal should you choose that path.
The Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in 339 of the appealed cases. That means that in all those cases, the appeal failed, and the trial court’s decision was upheld.
177 criminal appeals were dismissed. A dismissal usually happens when the appellant has failed to meet a procedural requirement, not necessarily because the appeal was without merit. One of the common reasons for dismissal can be found in Rule 23 of the court’s rules – failure to file an appellant’s brief within the prescribed time.
If your appeal is dismissed, the decision of the trial court stands. But you might be able to file another appeal, depending on the circumstances of the case. You can ask a skilled criminal appeals attorney for clarification if you need help in this area.
60 of the cases decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals were sent back to the trial courts for further action. A remand may be good, especially when it signifies a new trial. That means you get another chance to fight your charges, produce evidence and argue your case before the judge and jury.
A reversal is the best outcome for a criminal appeal. It means that the appeal court completely upturns the trial court’s decision. But the chances of getting an absolute reversal are quite slim. In 2022 it happened only 46 times.
The remaining cases not specifically mentioned here consist of appeals that were transferred, withdrawn, or where the court vacated its previous decision.
1. Act Quickly
The appeal process in Georgia begins with filing a notice of appeal at the trial court within 30 days from when the adverse judgment was delivered. The time limit is short, so you’ll need to act fast if you intend to exercise your right to appeal. There are ways to extend this time limit, but it is safer to file within time to avoid any issues that could lead to a dismissal of the appeal.
2. Seek Legal Counsel From an Experienced Criminal Appeals Lawyer
The appeal process both at the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court is complex. There are many requirements to meet before your case can be heard and determined on its merits.
Although you can represent yourself, your case would fare better if you let a lawyer with extensive appellate practice experience handle things on your behalf.
A criminal appeals lawyer is not the same as a trial lawyer or criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense lawyers help fight your charges at the trial stage. But an appeals attorney understands the procedure of each appellate court and can positively influence the outcome of your case in several ways, including the following:
- They can help you avoid mistakes by preparing and filing the appropriate court documents on your behalf.
- Every (criminal) appeal must have sufficient grounds, such as jury misconduct, errors of law, or discovery of fresh evidence that could have affected the trial court’s decision, before the appeal can be considered. Sometimes these grounds may be difficult to spot by an untrained eye. A criminal appeals lawyer knows what to look for from the trial records and can always identify good grounds for appeal where they exist.
- Because they already understand the game, criminal appeal lawyers know how to present written and oral arguments (if necessary) that can sway the judges and convince them to decide in your favor.
- In some cases filing a direct appeal might be a waste of time, and the convict may need to explore other legal alternatives, such as habeas corpus, to regain their freedom. A skilled appeals lawyer knows how to identify such cases and can help determine the appropriate procedure in such instances.
- If you’re appealing a federal conviction, a federal appeals lawyer can help you navigate the federal court system and work to ensure a positive outcome for you.
The best part about having quality legal representation is that you get an ally that believes in you and is willing to fight with you until you get the desired outcome.
If you’ve had doubts before now, do not hesitate anymore. Get in touch with skilled criminal appeal lawyers so you can begin the appeal process on the right foot.