Prince William County Appeals Lawyer
Working with a Prince William County appeals lawyer has many benefits. If you or a loved one was convicted of an offense, but feel as if the trial was unfair or sentencing unwarranted, then you need to contact an attorney immediately. Your constitutional rights are important, and working with an attorney who could request a new trial could help you or your loved ones could help preserve your constitutional rights. Reach out to an attorney today.
How the Prince William County Appeals System Works
Prince William County has two levels of trial courts with two separate systems for appeal. The Virginia court system has district courts and circuit courts. Appeals from each trial court work in different ways. The most common appeals are from the general district court and from the juvenile and domestic relations district court to the circuit court.
An appeal to the circuit court is a request for a new trial. Almost all final decisions made by the general district court or the juvenile and domestic relation court could be appealed and a new trial requested in the circuit court. An appeal to the circuit court is a request for a brand-new case. Whereas, an appeal from the circuit court is different. The party requesting the appeal asks the Virginia Court of Appeals to find that an error was made at the trial level and a new trial should be ordered. An appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals is much more complicated than an appeal to the circuit court in Prince William County. Because of these complicated steps, it may behoove convicted individuals to work with a Prince William County appeals lawyer.
Allowed Frequency of Appeals
A decision from the juvenile and domestic relations court or from the general district court could be appealed to the circuit court only once. Any decision made in one of the lower courts could be appealed for a brand-new case to be held in the circuit court.
Sometimes, multiple decisions in one case may be appealed. One case could have multiple decisions move up to the circuit court from the general district court, but that is rare except in cases of bond motions. The most common appeal in Virginia is when someone is unhappy with the outcome of their case in general district court. They appeal the decision and the case is started over completely in the circuit court as if a decision had never been made in the case. A person might also petition to appeal their case from the circuit court, but they may only petition for an appeal from the circuit court one time.
Timeline Limits to Filing
The timeline for filing an appeal depends on whether it is an appeal to the circuit court or an appeal from the circuit court. An appeal to the circuit court that is asking for a new trial in the circuit court must be filed within 10 days of the decision from the first trial court.
Within 10 days after the final order is signed, the appeal must be noted in the circuit court. An appeal from the circuit court to the court of appeals is a much more complicated process. It must be formally noted within a period of 30 days from when the circuit court judge signs the final order.
Important Considerations When Filing for a New Trial
Several important considerations are made when an individual must decide whether to appeal their case to the circuit court and ask for a new trial. The most important of those considerations is what they think the expected outcome might be in circuit court. Sometimes, when a person is unhappy with the outcome in general district court, it is not a wise decision to appeal because it may be that an appeal to circuit court could lead to a worse outcome. Circuit court judges are more likely to order someone into active probation in a case where they may receive only inactive probation in the general district court. In a case where one has little chance of prevailing in their trial, sometimes it is best to accept the sentence from the general district court, because the sentence from the circuit court may involve terms of probation that are difficult to comply with.
The first consideration should be the expected outcome in circuit court and the differences between a trial in circuit court and a trial in the general district court. The second most important consideration is usually to decide whether to request a jury trial in the circuit court and whether or not the Commonwealth attorney might request a jury trial in circuit court.
The Commonwealth in Prince William County may request a jury trial in some cases that are appealed in circuit court even in cases where the defendant does not wish to have a jury decide the facts.
There are strategic considerations to make when deciding whether or not to request a jury in one’s trial and there is an also the financial consideration. When someone is found guilty after a jury trial, the court costs are much higher, and the jury fees are greater. That often makes a large difference in what would otherwise be a small amount of court costs and fees. In circuit court, the court costs are always going to be quite a bit higher as any court costs and fines for a conviction are higher. There may be an increase in court costs and other fees going from the lower courts to the circuit court.
Perhaps the most critical out of all decisions an incarcerated person’s family could make for them is whether or not to retain the service of a Prince William County appeals lawyer. An attorney familiar with cases like these could weigh the options for convicted individuals and navigate a course of action that is more favorable for the person.
Circumstances Under Which Appeals Are Denied
An appeal to the circuit court is almost never be denied for any reason when it is filed in a timely manner. If the request for an appeal is noted in time, any final decision from the general district court or juvenile and domestic relations court is appealable to the circuit court in Prince William County.
Whether the new case has the same or a different outcome is yet to be determined, but the circuit court would allow a new trial to be heard. It is rare for the court of appeals to grant an appeal from the circuit court. The court of appeals is much more likely to deny a petition for an appeal.
Work with a Legal Representative
If your loved one has been sentenced by a judge or if you feel that their trial was flawed in some way, it may be best to connect with a Prince William County appeals lawyer. Attorneys could work with you or your loved one and request a new trial. Importantly, attorneys could work with you or your loved one to make sure that an appeal is a part of a favorable outcome. Whatever your case may be, reach out to an attorney and begin your confidential consultation.