Are There Different Types of Appeals?

Appeals occur when a higher court reviews a lower court’s decisions and either decides to affirm the lower court’s decision in a case or reverse the lower court’s decision. Depending on the type of case and matter, there are various types of appeals that might be involved. This article will explain some of the various categories of appeals. It is important to first understand that appeals can be “as of right” or discretionary. Appeals can also be collateral or direct in nature.

Appeals as of Right

A large number of first appeals are considered “as of right” appeals. Many states require that appellate courts hear any appeals that are come directly from a trial court’s decision. Although individuals are sometimes required to file notifications to the appellate court about the appeal in the form of a petition. Both parties involved in the case are able to file an unlimited number of “as of right” appeals.

Discretionary Appeals

There is no legal right to file a discretionary appeal, which means that parties do not have an automatic right to these types of appeals. Instead, appellate courts must determine whether the party requesting the appeal is allowed to bring this matter in appellate court. Frequently, appeals to a state’s highest courts and the United States Supreme Court are classified as discretionary. These appeals require a party to file a writ of certiorari, which the appellate court or Supreme Court will then rely on in making its decision to hear the case.

Collateral Appeals

Collateral appeals are used to challenge the legality of a conviction or even a sentence. These appeals require a person to file a habeas corpus petition in a federal district court. A person making a collateral appeal must file a habeas corpus petition asking for reviews of their criminal convictions. These petitions are then governed by applicable rules of both appellate and civil trial procedure. In nearly all cases, collateral appeals are discretionary in matter. In nearly all cases, collateral appeals are discretionary in nature.

Direct Appeals

Direct appeals are unlikely in civil cases and almost always arise in criminal matters. These appeals are appeals of the criminal verdict made directly from the trial court to the state or federal court of appeals and from the court of appeals to a higher court. The first direct appeal is often “as of right,” while later appeals are frequently discretionary in nature. A person is required to attempt every potential direct appeal prior to using the collateral appeal process. In some cases, however, a person appealing a criminal conviction might begin the collateral review process even if a discretionary appeal has previously been denied.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Appellate Attorney

Appeals are complicated matters that involve a unique body of law. To make sure that your appeal is as strong as possible, it is frequently a wise idea to obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney who has helped many individuals who have faced similar situations. Consider contacting Federal Criminal Law Center today to obtain the assistance that you need.