Can I Appeal a Criminal Conviction in North Carolina?

2-1024x1024Can I Appeal a Criminal Conviction in North Carolina?

A state criminal conviction may seem like the worst thing that could have happened, but there may be something you can do about it. A criminal conviction does not necessarily mean that your fight to defend yourself is over. In some cases, you may be able to appeal a criminal conviction in North Carolina. It is helpful to know that there are different rules that may apply to appealing a case in federal court.


Reasons to Appeal a State Conviction

In order to appeal a conviction you must be able to show that there was a mistake or error made in your case. Not only must there have been an error, but it must have been prejudicial. This means that the mistake had the potential to affect the outcome of the case. Generally, these types of errors are those that have prevented you from getting a fair trial. During your original proceeding, your attorney documented any possible problems through objections and motions. These types of errors may be used to request an appeal.


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The Appeal Process

The first step in the appeal process is to file a notice of appeal with the court. You may request an appeal orally during your case or you may submit a written appeal request. You must file the appeal with the court and serve it on the district attorney no later than 14 days after receiving your sentence. After filing the notice of appeal, the court will provide your appellate attorney with a written transcript of the trial, which must usually be done within 60 days.


After receipt of the transcript, your attorney has 35 days to submit a record of appeal. This is a detail of the errors that occurred during your trial that have prevented you from getting a fair trial. Also, the attorney will include a brief that provides legal arguments that support the errors. The state’s attorney will also provide a brief that argues against the appeal. In some cases, the attorneys will present the arguments in court.courtroom-1-1236725-1024x685


How Long Does an Appeal Take?

The courts are extremely busy, and appeals can take some time. It can take months or longer before the court provides a decision on the appeal. In some situations, it may take longer than a year, depending on the caseload and other factors. It is important to note that the appeal process can take longer in capital cases. Capital case appeals are taken up by the state supreme court while the North Carolina Court of Appeals handles most of the criminal conviction appeals.


Will I Win My Appeal?

Most often, criminal conviction appeals do not get approved. An error must be significant in that it was so egregious that it caused you to lose your right to a fair trial. If an appeal is approved, a conviction could be overturned, or you might receive a new trial. The best chances for appeal usually occur with help from a skilled attorney.


If you have been charged with a crime, do not delay. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.




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