The Appeals Process in Arizona
Just because you lost your trial, doesn’t mean your case is necessarily over. If you have been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony crime in Arizona, you have the legal right to appeal the court’s ruling. The objective of an appeal is for the defendant, also known as the appellee, to convince the court presiding over the appeal that some procedural error occurred, or that some authoritative party failed to act in a constitutional fashion in some way during the initial trial.
- Appealing a guilty verdict does not involve getting a new trial per se, but rather having a review of the trial that led to your conviction
Appealing a guilty verdict is your constitutional right, and in some cases like a 1st degree murder conviction, can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, if you find yourself needing to appeal a guilty verdict you feel was unjustly handed down to you by a court in Arizona, you should immediately seek out a reputable, experienced defense attorney who focuses on appeals for all types of misdemeanor and felony convictions.
The Different Appellate Courts for Different Convictions
In Arizona, the appellate court system (which just means the courts that hear appeals), is divided into two categories:
- The Superior Court handles misdemeanor appellate cases.
- The Court of Appeals handles felony appellate cases.
You have the right to appeal your conviction all the way up to the Supreme Court, which is the court that hears appeals based on constitutional issues that affect both Arizona and the United States of America as a whole.
What might be Grounds for Appeal in Arizona?
There are several plausible reasons to file an appeal in Arizona. Some of the more common reasons are:
- Dissatisfaction with the perceived inadequacy of your original trial attorney
- You feel your trial was not handled properly by the judge, jury, prosecution/district attorney’s office, or that proper procedures were not followed
- The discovery of new evidence that proves your innocence, and that was not available during your original trial
What can an Arizona Appellate Court do with your Original Ruling?
If you file an appeal with an appellate court in Arizona, the court has four options for how to rule on your appeal:
- Affirm the lower court’s conviction
- Affirm the lower court’s conviction, but make a modification to your sentence
- Reverse the lower court’s conviction and order a new trial for you
- Reverse the lower court’s conviction and acquit you of all charges
How do you File an Appeal?
There are rules you must follow very closely in order to file an appeal with either the Superior Court or the Court of Appeals in Arizona. They include:
- Filing a Notice of Appeal within 10 days of the date your guilty verdict was handed down
- Filing a memorandum with the appellate court within 20 days of its response, which comes within 30 days of filing your Notice of Appeal
The appellate court might choose to order proceedings like oral arguments from one or both sides, and one or both sides can make an explicit request to the court for oral arguments to be heard as well.
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your Appellate Defense in Arizona
The consequences for being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in Arizona are serious and very long lasting. Therefore, it is essential to consult a defense attorney. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that they are being upheld throughout the entire appeals process. If you are looking for an aggressive, experienced attorney to help you navigate your way through the appellate process in Arizona, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.