If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, you have a right to file an appeal. However, you must act quickly because you only have a short window of time to file.
Time Period for an Appeal
Misdemeanor criminal cases are handled in district courts in the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, you have a right to appeal a misdemeanor conviction in district court to the local circuit court. When you file your appeal, the case is tried “de novo,” which means that your case starts over again, and you get a new trial.
An appeal in a misdemeanor criminal case must be filed within 10 days of the date of your conviction. If your conviction is not reversed in the circuit court, you have 30 days to file an additional appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals. Because of these short deadlines, it is crucial that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately after your conviction in district court to help you decide whether this is your best option.
How to File Your Appeal
You have to follow strict requirements when filing your appeal to circuit court. You must take these steps:
- You must file a Notice of Appeal in the circuit court, which notifies the court and prosecutor that you are appealing your conviction.
- You must also pay a filing fee, which can vary depending on the court you are in. However, this cost is generally under $100.
When you file your appeal, the Commonwealth’s prosecutor cannot charge you with more serious offenses than you already face. However, you could receive a different punishment if you are convicted.
Are you considering filing an appeal of a misdemeanor conviction? We are here to discuss your situation and options, so that you make the best decision. To learn more about how we can help, start a live chat to schedule your appointment today.