Criminal Appeals Process

The Criminal Appeals Process in California

If you or someone close to you is ever arrested, you may be able to be released from police custody by posting bail. However, it’s possible that you won’t be able to afford the amount of bail that needs to be posted, which is where the bail bonds process comes into play. The bail agent will handle the full bail amount while you pay just a small fee and some collateral. You will then be required to make any future court appearances such as trial court proceedings. In the event that you’ve already been sentenced for a crime, you should look into the criminal appeals process in California if you believe that the sentence was unfair.

The Criminal Appeals Process In California

Once you’ve been through the trial court proceedings and have received a verdict that determines you are guilty of a crime, you will have the ability to go through the process of appealing a criminal case. Keep in mind that this process does not grant you a new trial with a higher court. Instead, a review of your conviction will be handled by an appellate court in California. This review is rather limited, which means that the appellate court won’t hear any witness testimonies, retry the case, or accept any new evidence.

Difference Between Misdemeanor Appeals and Felony Appeals

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime, your appeal will be handled by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in California, which solely handles misdemeanor appeals. On the other hand, felony appeals are reviewed by the California Court of Appeals. An appeal for a felony will review the trial court proceedings and rulings to identify if any errors were made that adversely affected the rights of any party involved. In the event that your crime is a federal one, you would likely want to pursue a federal appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit or even the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Notice of Appeal

Once you’ve been convicted at a jury trial or bench trial, you will be able to begin the process of appealing a criminal case. This process starts with the notice of appeal. This notice must be filed within 1-2 months following the conviction. If you don’t meet these deadlines, it’s likely that your appeal will be put into jeopardy. If you’ve been convicted of a felony in California in a case where you plead guilty, keep in mind that you will also need to obtain a certificate of probable cause, which will allow you to go forward with the appeal.

In order to obtain this certificate, you or an attorney of yours will need to provide the superior court with a written statement within 60 days of conviction that demonstrates under oath that there are reasonable jurisdictional or constitutional grounds that contribute to illegal court proceedings. The court will then have 20 days to deny or grant the request.

Once all the court transcripts have been readied and the date of appeal has been set, the most important aspect of this process involves the actual trial. This process begins with an opening brief by the appellant, which is the person who has filed a notice of appeal. You can seek everything from a new trial or a new sentence to a complete reversal of your initial conviction. This opening brief is typically extensive and is meant to include practically every detail of the case. This statement can be submitted via an electronic copy or paper copy.

The respondent, or prosecution, will then make their own brief. Once this occurs, you will have a period of 20 days to respond to the points made during the respondent’s brief. If you want, you could also make an oral argument in person to support your opening brief. When the Court of Appeal has finally announced its decision, you will have the ability to petition the Supreme Court of California for a review of this decision. The prosecutor will also have this ability if the appeal request was granted. This petition must be submitted within 10 days of the final decision.

Now that you know all about the criminal appeals process in California, you should be prepared to file for an appeal if ever the need arises.

Posted in CA Laws Comments Off on The Criminal Appeals Process in California

Bail Bond Rates

In general, the standard industry rate for bail bonds is 10% of the face amount of bail. For example, if the face amount of bail is $10,000, the fee is $1,000. Read More


We offer affordable bail bonds for jails throughout California. Call us today to learn more. Contact Us