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Alabama Appeals

Appealing to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals or the Alabama Supreme Court

Continuing Your Fight for Justice

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are, you or someone you love has been convicted of a serious crime and is facing or has received a harsh sentence. Now is not the time to give up. There’s plenty of fighting left to do. We believe in carrying on the fight, and we’re here to help.

The appeal process is complex and can feel intimidating to navigate on your own. We’ll break it all down, step by step, making sure you know what to expect at every stage.

Our Approach to Alabama Appeals

  • Starting the Appellate Process: We take care of all the administrative paperwork to initiate the appeal process, including ordering transcripts, records, and notifying the appropriate courts. We’ll send you electronic or paper copies so you can see everything we see.
  • Review and Analysis: Once we receive all of the documents for your case, we perform a detailed review of your trial proceedings to identify potential issues for appeal and whether or not we believe we can win.
  • Drafting and Filing the Appeal: We draft a comprehensive appeal letter and discuss it with you, modifying it as needed before submitting it to the court.
  • Responding to Counter Arguments: We address the prosecution’s arguments with a meticulously prepared response — ensuring that you understand the process and that your voice is heard.
  • The Ruling: When the court issues its ruling, we work with you to determine the next steps. We will walk you through the potential outcomes and come up with a strategy that best serves your interests moving forward.

Experience You Can Trust

Our clients depend on us to deliver results and we take pride in our track record of success. We have successfully overturned a wrongful murder conviction for a police officer, challenged an unconstitutional gun law and won, and fiercely defended a client facing an exaggerated solicitation of murder charge. Our firm also successfully argued for a new trial after juror misconduct invalidated a capital murder conviction, ensured a drug dealing conviction was reversed due to inadequate representation, and achieved the overturning of a robbery conviction for a client wrongfully denied legal representation. Let us put our dedication and expertise to work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Is An Appeal?

If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you have the ability to file an appeal to a higher court. In an appeal, we will file written arguments (called a “brief”) explaining to a higher court why your conviction should be thrown out. Examples of arguments we could make would be there may have not been enough evidence to convict you, some evidence was illegal or shouldn’t have been introduced at your trial, or your sentence was illegal. The higher court will review our arguments, the law applicable to your case as well as the record of what happened at your trial in order to decide what to do about your conviction.

Who Can Appeal Their Conviction?

Anyone that’s been convicted of a crime can appeal their conviction. You may be able to appeal your conviction even if you pleaded guilty to an offense.

What Court Do We Appeal To?

If you’ve been convicted of a crime anywhere in Alabama, you will appeal your conviction to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in Montgomery.

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in federal court, you will appeal your conviction to a federal circuit court of appeals. A federal circuit court of appeals is a regional court that hears appeals from the federal district courts within that circuit. For example, if you were convicted of a federal crime in a federal court in Alabama, you would appeal your conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia, which hears appeals from the federal courts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

How Do We Appeal My Conviction?

After you have been sentenced, we will file a “Notice of Appeal” with the trial court and the appropriate appellate court. This will tell the courts that we’re appealing your conviction or sentence.

How Long Do We Have To Appeal My Conviction?

You must file your notice of appeal very soon after sentencing in federal or state court. In federal court, you must file your notice of appeal within 14 days of sentencing. In Alabama state court, you must file your notice of appeal within 42 days of either sentencing, or the denial of any post-trial motions you file – whichever date is later.

Once we file your notice of appeal, the appellate court will give us a briefing schedule. We do not have to file your arguments at the time we file your notice of appeal.

What Kind Of Issues Can We Raise On Appeal?

An appellate court makes sure that the trial court followed the rules of criminal trials and looks at the legal issues presented by your case such as:

  • Did the USA/State present enough evidence to convict you?
  • Did the police conduct an illegal search of your home or vehicle?
  • Was the jury allowed to consider illegal evidence?
  • Did the prosecution fail to turn over critical evidence in your case?
  • Did the trial court improperly instruct the jury about the law applicable in your case?
  • Did the prosecutor make improper comments to the jury?
  • Was my sentence too harsh or otherwise illegal?
  • Each case is different and there are thousands of issues that can arise in every criminal appeal. We will investigate any and every possible line of defense to challenge your conviction.

Can We Appeal The Sentence I Received?

Depending on where you are, yes, an appellate court may review your sentence to see if it is too harsh given your circumstances.

How Long Does An Appeal Take?

The appellate process can take a few months. Once you have filed your appeal, the government will have a chance to respond and you will have a chance to reply to the government’s response. If your case presents a new question of law, the appellate court may order oral arguments on your case. Once your case is submitted to the appellate court, it generally takes a couple of months for them to hand down a decision – the tougher the question, the longer the wait.

What Happens If We Lose Our Appeal?

If the appellate court doesn’t rule in our favor, we can ask the highest court available to consider our case. For example, if you are appealing a criminal conviction in Alabama and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denies our appeal, we can then ask the Alabama Supreme Court to review our case. If we are denied review at the Alabama Supreme Court, we can ask the United States Supreme Court to review our case. If the federal circuit court of appeals denies our appeal, we can then ask the United States Supreme Court to review our case.

Start the Conversation

We are here to fight for you. Call us today so we can talk about your situation and explore your options.