A criminal trial may not always end in favor of the wrongfully accused. Thankfully, if you received a guilty verdict from the jury, despite your innocence, you can still fight for your rights by bringing the legal battle to the appellate courts.
In North Carolina, everyone who has been convicted has a right to appeal a verdict, the accompanying sentence, or both. Usually, appeals are given by the defendant orally or in writing within 14 days after a verdict was passed.
To get proceedings started, a transcript of the trial must be converted to Record on Appeal. Parties who want to know the progress of the appeal must notify the District Attorney’s office of their interest.
It is important to mention, however, that such a legal process could take several months to several years. It must also be understood that the appellate law is constantly changing. In fact, the Supreme Court of North Carolina recently clarified the rules for giving the “notice of appeal” in criminal cases in the October 2012 State v. Oates case.
The appellate process is a long and arduous one, so it pays to have an attorney to help you make the right decisions in front of the appellate judge.