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Columbia Appeals Lawyer

The trial court judge does not always have the final say in criminal cases involving Columbia residents. In many situations, it makes sense to appeal a decision. The process of judicial appeal is quite different than a criminal trial, so it is wise to work with an experienced Columbia appeals lawyer if you are seeking to appeal a trial court ruling.

Criminal trials center around the presentation of evidence to establish facts. By contrast, most appeals usually focus on how the law applies to the facts. While trials are conducted verbally, many of the persuasive arguments in an appeal are presented formally in writing. So, both the substance and procedure of a criminal appeal differ substantially.

In order to succeed on appeal, it is important to understand the differences and know how to take advantage of all available opportunities to win the proceeding. A skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience appealing trial court decisions could provide the representation needed to bring a positive resolution to the case. En Español.

Appeals from District Court

Appealing a case from the district court is the exception to the general rules governing appeals. When someone appeals a district court ruling, they are essentially seeking a completely new trial to be conducted by the circuit court. This is often referred to in Columbia as a de novo appeal.

In a de novo appeal from the district court, the circuit court will not be bound by any of the rulings or facts established in the district court decision. To appeal a district court case, the appeal is filed in the district court and then transferred to circuit court.

Appeals from Circuit Court

When someone seeks to appeal a circuit court ruling, the process begins in essentially the same manner but then changes drastically. The appeal is filed with the trial court who then notifies the next level court that the party involved does not agree with the decision.

State Appellate Courts

Maryland has two levels of appellate courts. The highest court in the state is the Court of Appeals. Below that is the Court of Special Appeals. Both of these courts consider cases at an appellate level, meaning that they accept the factual findings as established by the circuit court. They do not hear new evidence, so witnesses will not be testifying, and lawyers will not present exhibits. Instead, lawyers argue the case based on how the lower court applied the laws to the facts.

Potential Outcomes

The appellate court may affirm the lower court’s ruling, or it may reverse or modify the lower court’s judgment. Sometimes an appellate court will remand a case to the lower court to re-try the case or reconsider certain aspects of the case. If an appeal was not filed properly or is otherwise in error, the court may dismiss an appeal.

An appellate decision may itself be appealed, either by filing a motion for reconsideration or asking the highest court to review the case.  Judicial review of appellate cases is only granted in limited circumstances. It is best to speak to a knowledgeable attorney in Columbia to learn more about how an appellate decision could affect an individual’s case.

Let a Columbia Appeals Attorney Assist You

It is wise for anyone who is considering appealing a lower court’s ruling to review the options with an attorney experienced in handling appellate court cases. It is important to understand what is involved in the process and the potential outcomes of an appellate decision.

When you work with an experienced Columbia appeals lawyer, your attorney can provide advice and guidance to help reach a decision on the best steps to take next. Your lawyer could also advocate on your behalf to work toward a positive outcome in your case. To learn what may be possible to achieve, call now for a consultation.