How Can I Appeal a Guilty Conviction?

1-1How Can I Appeal a Guilty Conviction?

A conviction in a criminal case can be devastating. A conviction could result in serious penalties that could have a lasting impact on you and your family. When found guilty of a crime, you will face the sentence that a judge imposes based on the severity of the crime. You may hear that many people appeal their convictions, and some of them are successful. There is a legal method in place to file an appeal. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will help guide the appeal process.


Does My Case Qualify for Appeal?

In order to enter the appeal process, you must prove that your case meets the criteria to appeal. You must have a sound legal reason to appeal a conviction. You cannot file an appeal just because you do not agree with the outcome of the case. One reason for the appeal is that the law was not applied properly in the case. Another reason is that there were errors in the legal aspects of the case.


Also, if the evidence does not support the conviction, you may be able to file an appeal. Before you file an appeal, your attorney will need to review the transcripts of the case to determine the issues that could qualify for an appeal. Even if a mistake was made during the trial, it may not be egregious enough to warrant an appeal. Filing an appeal does not mean that you will get a new trial.


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File a Notice to Appeal

If you intend to appeal your case, you typically must file a notice to appeal within 14 days of the conviction. A notice to appeal simply means that you intend to appeal the conviction. This is just the first step in the legal appeal process. You may give notice to appeal orally when you are in court. Otherwise, you will need to file a written request. Once you file a notice to appeal, the court provides your attorney with a transcript of the court proceedings. Once your attorney receives the transcript, they will usually have 35 days to review it.



Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals oversees appeals in North Carolina. The record on appeal is part of the appeal process. Your attorney must file a briefing that details the reasons for the appeal and the specific areas during the trial which are of concern. For example, the briefing should point to errors that were made in the trial. An appellate prosecutor also files a briefing that includes the reasons why they believe the appeal should be denied. The appeal case will ultimately go in front of a panel of judges. The judges may allow oral arguments. The panel will make a determination on the case. If they allow the appeal, it may mean that the sentencing needs to be reviewed, that a new trial is required, or that the original decision is reversed.


An appeal is one of the most important legal actions you can take. Yet, it can be a complicated and lengthy procedure. You will have the best chance of appeal with help from a skilled attorney. If you would like to discuss an appeal, contact us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for 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.



Court of Appeals | North Carolina Judicial Branch (

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