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The appeals process in Alabama

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2020 | Criminal Law

Due process ensures defendants get a full opportunity to defend against false accusations and incorrect judgments against them. The court system is imperfect and can result in incorrect judgments. When a bad judgment happens and you need another court to hear your arguments, the appeals process in Alabama makes it happen.

Many reasons to appeal criminal law decisions

A lot of things can go wrong during a criminal prosecution, including wrongful acts done by the prosecutor. If the prosecuting attorney withholds evidence that might have proven your innocence, a jury member violates sequester rules, or some part of the process was not done in full accordance with state law, you get to file an appeal. Many times, an appeal could reduce a criminal sentence or another penalty. When fully successful, and appeal can vacate a prior ruling, free a wrongfully imprisoned defendant, and give the defendant an entirely new trial.

How Alabama’s appeals process works

Whenever a judge delivers a ruling on a post-trial motion or a final verdict and sentence in a criminal law case, the defendant has 14 court days from to appeal the decision. Court days refers to all the days a court is in session and not weekends, holidays, or other days it might be closed. If the defendant is sentenced to prison, he or she must post a bond to earn release during the appeals process.

All criminal law appeals in Alabama go through the state appellate court system. The appeals system ensures the defendant has another judge review the case and issue at hand to make a proper ruling. The appellate court can hear new evidence, review old evidence, and either affirm the lower court’s decision, vacate it, or rule a new hearing on some or all of the case.

A skilled attorney who is experienced in criminal law is an invaluable asset when appealing Alabama criminal law decisions. Many decisions hinge on the proper filing of paperwork and framing arguments correctly. Your attorney could help to ensure that you receive full due process and possibly get wrongful decisions overturned.