Grounds for Appeals
Appeals provide the opportunity for convicted people to point out the mistakes made in their case during the first trial; they are not, however, the time to argue for the “innocence” of the convicted individual.
Consequently, the grounds for appeals can include (but may not be limited to) the following:
- The lower court issued a biased, unreasonable or illegal motion in the first trial.
- The judge overseeing the first trial made some other serious error that violated the law and/or the rights of the accused.
- The available evidence does not support the guilty verdict
If an appeal is won or granted on any of these (or other) grounds, the appellate court can do some combination of the following:
- Overturn the verdict
- Remand the case to the lower court for a retrial
- Throw out some of the evidence and/or testimony
- Send additional instructions to the lower court for how the new trial is to proceed.
More Important Information about Appeals Cases
The Appeals Process
In general, the appeals process starts with writing and submitting a brief to the court, explaining why the individual in question deserves an appeal. If the appellate court agrees with the arguments in the brief, the oral arguments for the appeal may be heard. This process is very different from the criminal trial process, making it critical for convicted people to have an attorney who knows the deadlines, rules and requirements for Georgia and/or federal appeals representing them.
Appeals are generally not an option in cases when the accused person pled guilty to the charges. One exception to this, however, can arise when someone, who has pled guilty, wished to change or withdraw the guilty plea during the original case. If, in these situations, a judge had refused to let the accused person change his guilty plea, there may be grounds for an appeal.