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Howard County Appeals Lawyer

Most people have some understanding of what is an appeal. If you do not like a court ruling in your matter, you can ask for another bite at the apple. That is not entirely true, however. There are many issues and rules involved with an appeal. You must file your petition on time, and you must have grounds for an appeal. The court rarely will automatically allow a party an appeal. The rules for criminal and civil appeals are also different.

If you wish to pursue an action for an appeal, you may want to enlist the services of an experienced attorney. The process is more technical than the initial hearing. You will need to provide legal reasons for why the court should hear your appeal and provide legal briefs supporting your position. A Howard County appeals lawyer possesses the skills necessary for the appellate process, which are different from the skills a trial attorney utilizes.

The Appeals Process in Howard County

If the court convicts a defendant during a criminal trial, that defendant may wish to have an appellate judge reexamine the decision. Typically, there is a short window of time in which the defendant may appeal a decision. Time is an important factor when the court decides to allow the appeal to go forward. There are also technical rules with which a Howard County appeals attorney must carefully comply. If a lawyer does not strictly follow the appellate rules, the court will not grant an appeal.

Grounds for Appeals

There are many reasons why a trial court decision is appealable, but they always have to do with an error made at the trial. Some reasons include:

  • The judge misinterpreted the law,
  • The judge abused their discretion,
  • There was not enough evidence to convict the defendant,
  • The punishment was too big for the crime, and
  • The government procured evidence in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.

The Appellate Process

Any final decision by the trial court is appealable. If a party wishes to appeal a court decision, that party must submit appellate briefs which detail the laws at issue, carefully cite to controlling authorities and show why the appellate court should grant the appeal. After the parties submit their briefs, the appellate judges will consider the briefs and may allow the parties to offer short oral arguments or explanations. Afterward, the judges will confer and issue a written opinion.

The Appellate Courts

A case may initially occur in the Circuit Court. Afterward, the defendant may appeal to the Court of Special Appeals. The defendant may petition the Maryland Court of Appeals with a writ of certiorari if the defendant is dissatisfied with the outcome in the Court of Special Appeals. The highest level court has the discretion to hear the case or not. As long as a party has grounds, a party may appeal any claim to the Court of Special Appeals.

A case in federal court is also appealable. The argument goes from the District Court to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Afterward, a party may petition the United States Supreme Court to hear the matter, but the Supreme Court only hears a limited number of cases.

Learn More from a Howard County Appeals Attorney Today

If you received an unfavorable outcome at a trial, you might wish to learn more about your rights to an appeal. Even judges make mistakes, and an alternative result is possible. Sit down with a Howard County appeals lawyer to learn more about the appellate process and what options you may have. Your rights and freedom are precious, and you may want to do everything in your power to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.