I was just sentenced. I want to appeal. What do I do?

I want to appeal.  What now?  Our criminal defense attorneys explain the process:

Frequently criminal cases don’t conclude at the sentencing hearing.  If something just doesn’t seem right, you may seek an appeal.  Or more actively, if an actor in the criminal justice system screwed something up, you may want to seek an appeal.  For example, if the judge sentenced you to higher than the maximum penalty, that’s certainly a basis to appeal.

At Van Severen Law Office we work on appeals cases.  Whether you’re looking to appeal something like a misdemeanor criminal damage to property case, or something as serious as a first-degree intentional homicide case, we can help.  To start your appeals case, call Van Severen Law Office at (414) 270-0202.  Finally, our criminal defense attorneys are available to speak 24/7.

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Notice of right to seek postconviction relief

Pay attention during sentencing.  You’re stressed out and worrying about what is going to happen.  But it’s important you watch for potential appellate issues.  Even if you don’t thoroughly understand the law, you certainly know when something feels off.  After sentencing, your attorney will have you sign a Notice of Right to Seek Postconviction Relief form.

That form presents you with three options: you want to appeal, you don’t want to appeal, or you’re undecided.  It’s very important that you check the right box.  You feel stressed.  It’s easy for you to fail to understand what’s in front of you.  You check a box and you walk away.  But don’t do that.  If you have any hesitation regarding which box to check, we certainly suggest marking the undecided box.  That option gives you the choice to wait up to 20 days to decide which route to proceed.  If, after calming down, you recognize that there is something you want to appeal, you can change your answer to yes.

If you want to appeal, it’s your trial attorney’s responsibility to file a Notice of Intent to Seek Postconviction or Postdisposition Relief with the trial court.  That notice gives all parties to the action notice that you’re appealing the case.  Finally, it also serves as a notice to the State Public Defender if you’re seeking representation from them.

The appeal begins

Within 30 days of the filing of the Notice of Intent (90 days if you’re denied representation from the State Public Defender), your criminal defense attorney requests court hearing transcripts and the court record.   Within 60 days of that demand the trial court must provide you or your attorney the court record (everything filed in your trial case) and court reporters must provide your transcripts.  Frequently court reporters are late and will move the court to allow for an extension.

60 days after the defense attorney receives the last transcript either a Motion for Postconviction Relief or a Notice of Appeal is due.  A motion for postconviction relief is a motion filed with the trial court requesting some sort of relief.  One of the most common motions filed seeking postconviction relief is to find trial counsel ineffective.  A Notice of Appeal is simply a notice sent to the court of appeals advising that court that the defendant is seeking relief at the appellate level.

A postconviction motion must be decided within 60 days of the filing of the motion.  If the court fails to decide the motion within that timeframe, the defense attorney must request an extension for the trial court to decide the motion.   If the trial court denies the defendant’s motion, defense counsel must file a notice of appeal within 20 days.

Finally, after the notice of appeal is filed with the court of appeals, your attorney has 40 days to file the brief arguing your case.  The respondent (the opposite party – the State) has 30 days to respond to your brief.  Finally, upon the filing of that brief, your attorney must respond within 15 days.

You have a right to appeal the result of your criminal case in Wisconsin. For more information call us at (414) 270-0202.

Hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you through the appellate process

Appeals cases can be difficult.  Procedural law is certainly complex.  New defense attorneys usually use a guide to help them work through appellate issues.  Facing such a difficult task on your own is even more difficult.  Our criminal defense attorneys understand the timelines.  We understand the procedural issues. And we certainly understand the underlying, substantive law.

Finally, if you’re looking to appeal your criminal conviction, contact Van Severen Law Office today.  We answer phones 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.  And finally, we offer free consultations.  We specialize in criminal defense and can surely fight your case at the appellate level.

(Updated by our criminal defense attorneys on December 5, 2019.)

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