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  • Matthew W. Peterson

What is the Process for a Criminal Appeal in Alabama?

Updated: May 30, 2019



The appeal of a criminal case can take several months and anywhere up to years. It's a slow process full of long periods of waiting then frantic activity. If you're looking to appeal your criminal case in Alabama, you need an experienced Alabama criminal appeals attorney to help you.

The process begins when you file a notice of appeal, usually in Circuit Court. You have 42 days from the date of your sentencing or any other post-trial motions to file a notice of appeal.

After your notice of appeal, your attorney will file a reporter's transcript order and docketing statement. The reporter's transcript order requests the record on appeal, meaning a transcript of all of the prior court hearings along with any motions and orders that have been filed in your case. The docketing statement informs the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals about the appeal.

After that, the court reporter will prepare the transcript. This process can take several months to complete. Once we receive the record on appeal, we begin preparing our brief to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Again, this can take several weeks or months depending on how complicated your case is.

After we file our brief, the State files a brief in response. After that, we can file a reply brief, we can have oral argument before the Court of Criminal Appeals, and then the Court can decide. Again, the Court can take as long as they want to render an opinion.

The Court of Criminal Appeals can decide to either reverse or affirm the case. A reversal means it's sent back to the Circuit Court. Affirming means to say that the Circuit Court did everything right.

If the Court affirms the conviction, we can file for a writ of certiorari to the Alabama Supreme Court. This begins by filing an application for rehearing in the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, then a writ of certiorari to the Alabama Supreme Court.

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.


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