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  • Matthew W. Peterson

What is a Criminal Appeal in Alabama?

Updated: May 30, 2019

If you were convicted of a crime by a jury, had your probation revoked, or reserved an issue for appeal after pleading guilty, you have the right to appeal your criminal case. This not something you should do by yourself - you need a criminal appeals attorney who can fight for you and guide you through the system.

In an appeal, we argue that the judge did something wrong in your case, whether that's an incorrect ruling on the evidence or an illegal sentence. There are a wide variety of possible issues on appeal, so you should consult with an appeals attorney on the specifics of your case.

This process generally takes several months and moves slowly.

We begin by filing a notice of appeal. This must be done within 42 days of your sentencing or probation revocation. After that, we order the record on appeal from the court reporter. This can take several months to prepare.

After we get the transcript and record on appeal, we file our brief. This involves arguing the possible legal issues on your case, gathering relevant case law, and making a compelling argument to the court.

After we submit our brief, the State has an opportunity to respond to our brief. We can then file a reply brief. If the Court of Criminal Appeals decides to, we can be heard in oral argument.

Then, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals makes a decision. This can take several months. I've seen it take more than six months before.

If the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals decides against us, we can still appeal from that in a process called a writ of certiorari. There, we appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, and they can decide to take another look at your case.

If you want a criminal appeals attorney who will fight for you and look for every possible way to win your appeal, call me today at 617-356-8217. While my office is located in Boston, I also handle Alabama criminal appeals. Let's get started on your defense today.