If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you might want to appeal your DUI/DWI case. Appealing your case may reduce your sentence, or may have your conviction removed from your record altogether. An appeal is not a retrial – it is a reexamination of your case by a higher court to determine if your trial was conducted in a fair manner.
The Appeal Process
How do you start a DUI appeal? The first step is to hire a knowledgeable DUI attorney with a good track record. Ask the attorney if he or she has experience with cases similar to yours. Because DUI/DWI law is so complex, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who focuses exclusively on drunk-driving cases, rather than a general practitioner of law. Without an attorney, you might miss important deadlines and steps that are crucial in appealing your DUI case.
The next step is to request a new trial. Before appealing your case, you should ask the judge who presided over your DUI case for a new trial or for the guilty verdict to be overturned. Although it is unlikely your request will be granted, this is the beginning of the appeal process.
Move Quickly To File Your Appeal
Time is of the essence during an appeal. Depending on your state’s laws, you typically have between 10 to 30 days to file a notice of appeal. It is important to note that appeals only apply to cases that have actually gone to trial – if you accepted a plea bargain, you may have waived any rights to an appeal.
You will be filling out a lot of forms; be sure to get copies of every form that you file. The appeal process will be handled by your attorney in appellate court, so it is important that he or she stays on top of your case by getting copies of all of the forms and briefs that are filed with the court.
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