How Do Appeals Work in Colorado?

While the country’s varying legal powers were implemented to maintain justice, unfair verdicts can still occur. State residents are allowed to appeal both criminal and civil verdicts if they can identify issues with their previous case. This gives you the chance to have your case and the judge’s decision reviewed. However, appealing any sort of verdict can be complex, which is why it’s essential that you educate yourself on the process and hire a Denver appeals lawyer before going into it.

What Is an Appeal?

In the legal world, an appeal is a request for a settled case to be reviewed by different authorities. When you request an appeal, you are asking a higher judicial power to reopen your case and assess whether the decision made was fair. Appeals are not granted to everyone who requests them and will only be allowed if certain legal grounds can be identified. Generally, these legal grounds involve misconduct and issues that could have created an unfair trial or verdict.

What Is the Appellate Court Like?

Understanding the appellate process is critical before you file a request. This is because appealing a verdict is much different than your average divorce litigation or criminal trial. During an appeal, you will have multiple judges reevaluating your case. Because no new evidence can be presented in an appellate court, each judge will review the evidence previously presented along with your written argument that states your qualms with the verdict.

How Does the Appeals Process Work?

The appeals process will vary slightly depending on what kind of case you’re involved in and what judicial power you have to appeal to. If you’re contemplating appealing a verdict in the state, the process will generally follow these steps:

  1. Bring your case to a Denver appeals lawyer and identify legal grounds for an appeal. Before you can appeal a case, it needs to be fully settled. If you believe that the results of your previous case were unfair, an appellate attorney can help you identify legal grounds to file a request. If you are not able to demonstrate that legal issues occurred in your prior case, you most likely will not be granted an appeal.
  2. Identify which court you need to appeal to and file your notice. After you and your lawyer have found substantial evidence as to why your case should be reviewed, you’ll then need to identify which court you have to appeal to. For most appeals, your request is just sent to a judicial power that is one step higher. For example, an appeal from a county court will have to be docketed with a district court. However, you must still notify the county court of your appeal request.
  3. Identify the evidence you want to be reviewed. This step, which is also known as designating evidence, allows the person making the appeal to identify the evidence they want reviewed during their appeal. As stated previously, no new evidence can be used in appellate court. This means you need to certify all of the evidence that was used in your case previously if you want it looked at again.
  4. Write your arguments. After certifying your evidence, you will then need to create a written argument that states why your previous verdict should be changed. Your written argument plays a leading role in the outcome of your case, so it’s crucial that you work on it with the help of a skilled appeals attorney. You will need two separate arguments, one of which is your full argument and one being a reply to the appellee.
  5. Wait for the final decision. Once you have written and sent your final arguments, you’ll then need to wait for a new decision to be made. This can take a few months as it may take a while for your panel of judges to review everything adequately. When a decision is finally made, you’ll receive one of these outcomes:
    1. The previous verdict is overturned and replaced.
    2. The previous verdict is affirmed and left in place.
    3. The previous verdict is modified but not overturned.
    4. The previous case is remanded and sent back to trial.

FAQs

Q: Do You Need a Lawyer When Appealing a Case?

A: While an appellate lawyer is not required if you’re appealing a case, they are still highly recommended for anyone looking to begin the process. Because the appellate process involves myriad legal complexities, working with an experienced lawyer can help you ensure that you request an appeal properly. An appeals lawyer can not only help you identify legal grounds for your case, but they can also help you write your arguments and file them with the correct court.

Q: How Many Times Can You Appeal a Verdict?

A: Generally, the state will allow you to appeal the same case only once. However, there are rare instances when issues occur during your first appeal, and you have to request one again from a higher court. When this occurs, you may be able to appeal for a second time. Consult a lawyer immediately if you believe you may need to appeal a case for a second time.

Q: How Long Will an Appeal Take?

A: Generally, civil cases tend to be settled faster than criminal appeals. For example, a family law appeal may take only three to four months to complete, whereas a criminal case can take over a year. This is mostly due to the fact that criminal cases involve more evidence and tend to have more severe issues to review.

Q: What Is the Difference Between an Appellant and an Appellee?

A: When you’re going through the appeals process, you may come across the terms appellant and appellee. These terms refer to two different parties involved in the case. The appellant is simply the individual requesting an appeal. The appellee is the person who had the appeal filed against them and must respond to the appellant’s argument.

File Your Appeal Today

An unfair verdict can harm you in more ways than one. If you or someone you love is looking to appeal a verdict in Colorado, do not wait to consult our team of Denver appeal lawyers for assistance. Contact the Woody Law Firm, LLC, to pursue justice today.

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