How to Appeal a Felony in Georgia
The First Step to Appeals
Whether you received an unfair sentence or were perhaps wrongfully convicted, a good first step in this process is to hire an attorney specializing in appeals. Unlike what you see on tv, when a case gets appealed you don't necessarily get another trial. Oftentimes what happens is your attorney will draft a brief of your case with evidence and previous trial information to submit to the Court of Appeals. That's why it's important that your attorney be experienced in drafting this kind of documentation.
Determine the Qualifying Reason
Expedient decisions are necessary because there is a small window of time for filing a motion after the conviction. After getting an attorney, you will want to discuss the qualifying reason for reexamining your case. This can include:
- An error of law
- The verdict outweighs the supporting evidence
- Abuse of the law by the Court
- Ineffective counsel
After receiving the briefs, a panel of judges will affirm the trial court's decision or grant the request. After the Court issues a docket number, the process could take six to eight months or more.
Motioning for Reconsideration and Petitioning the Georgia Supreme Court
If dissatisfied with the ruling, you can go further to file a motion or petition for reconsideration with the Georgia Supreme Court. After the panel's decision, there is a small window of possibly only ten days or even less to file the motion for reconsideration. If filing with the Supreme Court, notifying the Court of Appeals the same day is required. If the Supreme Court accepts the case, a docketing notice with the date for oral arguments will be received. From that date, it should resolve within three to six months.
It's important to note that a conviction with a death sentence is petitioned only to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the process may take longer overall than other convictions.
Another avenue to consider is to request a sentence modification. If there is an essential change concerning the evidence, a judge may consider a modification, but it is generally unlikely. However, the Court may modify the remaining probation time, terminate the probation, or adjust the regulations.
Hire Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum for Your Appeal
Our team of former prosecutors understands the importance of a timely appeals process and will work with you to get the appropriate outcome. If you or a loved one is looking to pursue an appeal, contact (404) 471-3177 to schedule a free consultation.