Convicted of DUI? You may have reason to file an appeal

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Having charges leveled against you for DUI can seem like a confusing and distressing situation. Even though you may have made the effort to defend yourself against the allegations, the court may have ruled against you and convicted you of the DUI charges. You may feel like your legal journey ends there and that you have no choice but to accept the consequences. However, you may have the opportunity to appeal that decision.

If you hope to appeal a conviction or sentencing relating to a conviction, you may wish to begin that process as soon after the initial ruling as possible. If you wait too long, your window of opportunity may close, and you could miss your chance at an appeal.

Grounds

In order to appeal your case, you need to have grounds for doing so. The two common types of grounds relate to procedural and substantive issues. Procedural errors could involve problems that occurred when taking a guilty plea, and substantive issues could relate to exclusions of confessions and suppression of evidence. Of course, you will need evidence to support your reasons behind your belief that grounds for an appeal exists.

Argument

If your appeals case moves forward, you must present your argument as to what legal mistakes influenced the ruling or sentencing and why those errors may warrant a dismissal of the case or at least a retrial or resentencing. It's important to understand that the court does not examine new evidence in an appeals case.

Only the information and evidence already on record goes into the appellate court decision. The information on record includes anything stated in court during your initial trial, which the court reporter should have put in the transcript.

Briefs

The court reviews your briefs, or arguments, before coming to a decision. Initially, you may enter a written brief and so can the opposing side, which is typically the government. You may also enter a second brief in order to address information provided in the government's brief. If necessary, you and the opposition may also go to court to present oral arguments before the court comes to a decision.

Preparation

Even if your initial case resulted in a conviction, you do not have to feel completely disheartened. Preparing to present an argument for appeal could help you work toward potentially overturning that conviction or obtaining a difference sentence. If you hope to achieve success with your appeal, you may wish to work with a Florida attorney who could offer useful advice and strategy tips.

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