Appealing a Judgment – Is it Possible?

by | Nov 4, 2015 | Appeals Cases

The short answer to this question is “yes”. However, an appeal isn’t that cut and dry. Read on to find out more about how appeals work and to see if one can work for you…

Firstly, here are a few things to know about appeals:

  • You may not be able to appeal your judgment simply because you are unhappy with it. There must be legal grounds on which to base your appeal…
  • You must adhere to specific court rules according to Florida’s appellate procedure
  • Appeals are not trials and they are not meant to give you a second chance to re-argue the facts of your case.
  • The court you appeal to, called the appellate court, does not serve as a jury.

 What is a Final Judgment and Why Does it Matter?

Generally, the court must issue a final judgment before you can appeal the order. There are some instances where you can appeal a court ruling rendered in the middle of a case, but let’s focus on appeals for final judgments. A final judgment is reached at the end of your civil or criminal case. Once a final judgment has been entered, then you may appeal the order.

The Drop Dead Deadlines…

There are very specific deadlines you must adhere to if you decide to appeal your judgment. No, you won’t really drop dead but they are super important. Therefore, it is very beneficial to hire an attorney who has experience with appeals. This may be the attorney who handled your original case, or you may seek to hire a civil appeals lawyer who specializes in appeals.

Whomever you decide to work with, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney as soon as you receive notice of your final judgment as the clock starts ticking right away.

Reasons for Appeal

Criminal Appeals – If you are convicted of a crime in one of Florida’s circuit courts, you can file a direct appeal of your conviction (and sentence) to the appropriate District Court of Appeal. In order to determine which is the correct court, speak to criminal appeals lawyer immediately!

But keep in mind that if you pled no contest or guilty to the charges against you—and you have been convicted/sentenced based on that plea—then your grounds for appeal are very limited and narrow.

Civil Appeals – You may also appeal a final judgment reached in your civil case, such as a personal injury action. Again, once the lower court – likely the circuit court – issues a final judgment in your case, then you may appeal the judgment to the appropriate District Court of Appeal.

Meet an Experienced Criminal and Civil Appeals Lawyer

Given the very specific process you must follow in filing an appeal, it is definitely recommended that you contact an attorney who has experience in appellate procedure. If you fail to timely appeal your judgment correctly, you may have waived your rights to do so.

Don’t risk what may be your only chance for an appeal. Work with a criminal and civil appeals lawyer today.

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