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Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to decide whether of not to appeal my case?

You are entitled to appeal your conviction and sentence but there are strict time limitations on when you may exercise this right. Generally speaking, the appeal must be launched (formally advising the court that you intend to appeal by submitting the necessary paperwork) within 30 DAYS from the day you were sentenced.

If you have been convicted but not yet sentenced, you should not wait until after the sentencing to consider whether to appeal or to speak with a lawyer about your options. There are practical considerations and procedural steps that can take some time and are beyond your (or your lawyer’s) control. For example, if you want a legal opinion about how strong your case is on appeal (whether the proposed appeal has merit), you need to obtain a transcript (an official word for word reproduction) of the court’s Reasons for Judgment or, if it was a jury trial, the Charge to the Jury. Transcripts are produced by the Court Reporter who was present in the courtroom during the trial proceedings, and you can bet that he or she has a long list of transcript orders from other parties as well.

Another time-sensitive factor to consider is that, depending on the sentence that is ultimately imposed upon you, you may wish to apply for bail pending the hearing of your appeal. Because it can take a number of weeks to prepare the materials for a bail application, this process should be started as soon as possible following a finding of guilt