If you’ve recently been convicted of a crime and plan to appeal your case, it’s important to file a Notice of Appeal as soon as possible. The time limits for filing this notice may differ based on whether yours is a federal or state case, and other factors may affect the deadline, as well. A criminal defense attorney who is experienced in filing appeals can better advise you on these time frames.
WHAT IS A NOTICE OF APPEAL?
It’s important to understand that a Notice of Appeal is not the same as the appeal itself. The Notice of Appeal is simply the first step, alerting the courts that you plan to exercise your legal right to appeal the court or jury decision. Once this notice is filed, you and your attorney will have a certain amount of time to prepare a formal appeal.
TIME LIMITS FOR NOTICE OF APPEAL IN FEDERAL COURT
According to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (Rule 4), you have 14 days after the date of judgment to file your Notice of Appeal. The exception to this rule is if the government files its own Notice of Appeal, which can happen within the first 30 days after judgment. If this happens, you have 14 days from the government filing to file your own notice.
TIME LIMITS FOR NOTICE OF APPEAL IN STATE COURTS
As is the case with most court proceedings, the rules for filing a Notice of Appeal vary from state to state, so it’s important that your attorney be familiar with state rules if yours is a state trial. Many states allow a 10-day window from the date of judgment to file the notice, with some variations. For example, in the State of Georgia, your attorney may be able to obtain an extension of the 10-day time limit by filing a separate motion citing providential cause. Additionally, in certain circumstances, the court may specifically set a time limit of less than 10 days.
Whatever the rules are in your jurisdiction, it’s commonly held that if you do not file the notice within the allocated time limit, you will be unable to appeal your case at that point. For obvious reasons, then, time is of the essence if you plan to appeal your criminal conviction. To learn more about the time limits for Filing a Notice of Appeal, contact the Federal Criminal Law Center today.