MISDEMEANOR APPEALS IN GENERAl:

Misdemeanor Appeals--a defendant can appeal any legal decision in the case from the denial of a suppression motion, a guilty trial verdict and/or sentencing in the case as well as any other errors in the application of law that may have been made by the judge throughout the case.  Notice of appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after sentencing in a misdemeanor case.  Only mistakes of law can be appealed.  Mistakes of fact cannot be appealed.  For example, a guilty verdict based on the jury believing one witness over another cannot be appealed.  However, if the jury based that belief on testimony that should not have been allowed into evidence, that CAN be appealed.

Procedure--a notice of appeal must be filed with the trial court within the time limit stated by statute (within 30 days of sentencing).  A brief is then drafted by the attorney in the case detailing the areas of law that the trial court erred.  A panel of judges reviews the briefs presented by both the defense attorney and the district attorney and determines whether a legal error was made at the trial level.  In some of the higher appellate courts, oral argument by the attorneys, is also made.

Felony Appeals--a defendant can appeal any legal decision in the case from: the denial of a suppression motion, a holding order, a guilty trial verdict and/or sentencing in the case as well as any other errors in the application of law that may have been made by the judge throughout the case.  Notice of appeal must be filed no later than 60 days after sentencing in a felony case.  As in misdemeanor cases, only mistakes of law can be appealed.  Procedure for felony appeals is the same as for misdemeanor appeals.