How Long Does an Appeal Take? - Aaron Delgado & Associates

How Long Does an Appeal Take?

by Aaron Delgado
10/13/22 (Updated: 10/26/22)

You have fought hard to receive a legal outcome that is best for you, but unfortunately, not everyone gets everything they want. If you have received a particularly harsh sentence in a criminal court, or if you are unhappy with a civil outcome, it does not have to end there. You are welcome to file an appeal in the vast majority of situations; however, you might be wondering, how does the appeal process work? How long does it take?

Filing an appeal can be an uphill battle, but if there is something specific you would like to challenge, you should have the opportunity to do so. How long does an appeal take in Florida, and what should you expect?

What Is an Appeal?

An appeal does not mean you will get a new trial. It means that the judge will be asked to review any potential error that may have been made by anyone in the case. This includes your prosecutor, your trial judge, or even the defense attorney. Anything during the course of the trial or sentencing is open to appeal. If there is something in the record that you or your lawyer feels was not constitutional, you can file an appeal.

During the appeal process, you will not be able to call any new witnesses and you will not be able to present any new evidence. Essentially, anything in the court record is going to be reviewed by the judge to make sure it proceeded in accordance with the law. Then, the appeals court will determine whether the lower court has made any errors during the trial or during sentencing. If something appears to have been an error, then you might be granted a different outcome. In some cases, you might even be granted a new trial if the appeal is successful.

Who Has the Right To File an Appeal?

Everyone has the right to file an appeal within 30 days of any criminal or civil sentence. While you might not necessarily have an issue that has to be reviewed by the appeals court, you are still welcome to file one. This is something that you have to discuss with your lawyer because there must be a specific issue for the court to review. If there are specific legal problems or issues that may have arisen during the trial or sentencing, you should file an appeal to ask for the appeals court to review the issue.

What Are the Grounds For an Appeal?

There are several examples of grounds that you may have for an appeal following your sentence or judgment. A few examples of legal issues that you may want the appeals court to review include:

  • There was someone on the jury who was not fit to serve as a juror.
  • There was evidence entered into the trial that should not have been entered. Either it was collected illegally or was deemed inadmissible.
  • There was evidence illegally omitted from the course of the trial that should have been reviewed by the jury. Had the jury been able to see that evidence, a reasonable person may have decided on a different outcome.
  • The prosecutor engaged in conduct that was unbecoming, or the prosecutor in some way prejudiced the jury against you.
  • There was a motion to dismiss the case that should have been successful and the judge improperly denied it.
  • There was a motion to suppress certain aspects of the case and the judge improperly denied it.
  • The jury did not receive correct instructions about how to deliberate regarding the evidence.
  • The judge issued rulings that were not correct according to the law.
  • During the sentencing phase, the judge considered evidence that should not have been permitted.

These are a few of the biggest examples of reasons why an appeal might be successful. If you believe your case qualifies under any of the points above, you may have grounds for a successful appeal.

How Do You File an Appeal?

If you believe that you have grounds for appeal, you need to work with an attorney who can guide you through the process. There are several steps involved. The steps include:

  • File a Notice of Appeal: The first thing you need to do is to file a notice of appeal. Even though you can certainly file one on your own, you need to rely on your attorney to help you. Depending on whether you are filing a criminal or civil appeal, you need to work with an attorney who has experience in this area. The appeal has to be filed within 30 days of the conclusion of your case.
  • Obtain a Record: Next, you will want to get a record of the original case. This includes any hearings, trials, and information from sentencing. This is the information that your attorney will review to see if there are any errors.
  • File the Initial Brief: After this, your attorney will file an initial brief for you. The initial brief is going to target specific issues with the case that need to be reviewed on appeal. You will discuss this with your lawyer to see what your grounds for appeal might be.
  • Wait for the Answer: Based on the information you provide in the appeal filing, the opposing side will issue a response. They will probably highlight why your grounds for appeal are invalid or why your request should be denied.

The two sides may go back and forth, and the appellate court will eventually make a decision. Either you will be granted your grounds for appeal, or your grounds for appeal will be denied. It may take several months for the court to make a decision, so you need to stay in contact with your attorney to make sure you understand what is going on.

Work With Aaron Delgado & Associates During the Appeal Process in Florida

Regardless of whether you are unhappy with a criminal or civil court decision, you should be allowed to file an appeal. The stakes are high when you go through the appeals process, so it is important for you to work with an experienced attorney who can help you.

We are Aaron Delgado & Associates, and we are ready to listen to your situation without judgment or reservation. We believe that everyone has the right to file an appeal, and we will work with you to maximize your chances of filing a successful appeal. We are here to make sure your rights are defended, so contact us today for a review of your case to review your grounds for appeal.

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