An appeal is a request sent by a party in a lower court to a higher appellate court, in order to review and change the decision of the lower court. If a defendant is found guilty on a criminal charge, they have the right to file an appeal to the appellate court. In an appeal review, no new evidence can be shown; the court will only review the error that was shed light on by the defendant. However, the prosecutor cannot appeal the case if the defendant is found not guilty; this term is better known as “double jeopardy”.
Rules and Regulations of the Appellate Court
Federal appellate courts follow the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, as their set of regulations. On the other hand, state appellate courts follow their own state rules of appellate procedure. Both the state and federal appellate court share the power of having the final judgment on the case that is being reviewed. Although, there are exceptions to the courts final judgment rule, regarding an error in the trial court or an unconstitutional judgment.
The defendant can only file an appeal to the court system directly one above the court they were tried at. For example, if you were tried at a state trial court, than you may file an appeal only at the state intermediate appellate court. If one of the appeals reaches the Supreme Court, than the Supreme Court Justices have the final judgment on the case without question.
Depending on how complex the Appeal is or how many issues need to be reviewed, the cost to appeal can vary. It can range anywhere from $20,000-$50,000 and take as long as 1-2 years depending on how backed up the court is. The cost could be even lower than $20,000 depending on the cost of the services of each level of the court. The higher the level of the court, the more expensive the appeal is going to be, with the Supreme Court being the most expensive. Along with the cost, the chances of filing an appeal successfully are around 15%-25% also depending on the level of the court and complexity of the case.
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