Lawrenceville Attorneys Handle Civil and Criminal Appeals
Georgia appellate law firm offers effective advocacy when a legal error occurs
At the law office of Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C., in Lawrenceville, we represent clients in both civil and criminal appeals. Led by Ms. Washburn, an accomplished lawyer with over 35 years of experience and a current judge, we employ our extensive trial experience, significant legal research and writing skills to represent both appellants and appellees throughout northeast Georgia.
What is an appeal?
Trials are complex and hard to predict. Even a seemingly insignificant legal error could tilt the proceeding unfairly and lead to an unjust result. While juries, and occasionally judges, have the power to determine what the facts are in a particular case, improper applications of the law can be appealed. Filing an appeal could be the right option if a key evidentiary decision went against you or the judge’s instructions to the jury misstated the relevant legal standards.
Can a civil case be appealed?
To appeal your civil case, you typically must file a Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of Magistrate Court within 30 days from when the judgment is entered. Appeals from dispossessory cases (evictions) have to be filed within seven days and follow a different format. Filing papers must be served on the other party. If your case is appealed in Gwinnett County, it will be transferred to the State Court of Gwinnett County unless you specifically request that it be transferred to the Superior Court. From there, the appellate court sets a schedule for the submission of briefs.
Appealing a criminal conviction
Even if you are unsure about whether potential grounds exist to overturn your criminal conviction, you should file a Motion for New Trial within 30 days of the verdict. This is submitted to the trial court, and if it is denied, then you have 30 days from that decision to file a Notice of Appeal. At this point, the Court of Appeals takes over the case. If they do not reverse the decision or send the case back to the trial court for reconsideration, you can petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of Georgia. If a prisoner believes that their Constitutional rights have been violated, they do have the option of initiating a habeas corpus proceeding.
How long does it take to get a decision on appeal?
Though there are interlocutory appeals which are decided while a trial is proceeding, most are filed after the initial case is over. You might wait months or even more than a year to get an appellate ruling. Once the trial transcript is obtained, our firm can examine the record to identify material errors that might have occurred. If an appeal is warranted, we notify the court that you intend to appeal and a briefing schedule is set. From there, oral argument might be granted to give the court the opportunity to ask questions regarding the legal claims.
What is the first thing you should do if you wish to appeal a trial court’s decision?
Deadlines for filing an appeal are strict and usually short. Whether your freedom is at stake or your financial well-being, the appellate process can be lengthy and complex. Accordingly, you should not wait to consult with a seasoned attorney about potential grounds for appeal and precedents that might be relevant to your case. Our firm has an extensive track record in civil and criminal appeals and will give you honest advice regarding the likelihood of success.
Contact a knowledgeable Georgia appellate attorney to discuss your case
Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C. in Lawrenceville advocates for Georgia clients in both civil and criminal appeals. If you believe a legal error led to a miscarriage of justice in your case, please call 770-884-7581 or contact us online.