What Does It Mean To Appeal Your Case in SC?
The legal courts system in South Carolina is made up of three important judicial courts. All three courts serve an important purpose within the state. The three levels of courts are:
- South Carolina Trial Courts
- South Carolina Court of Appeals
- South Carolina Supreme Court
If you are charged with a crime in South Carolina, your case will begin by going to a Trial Court (for criminal cases, this is called the Court of General Sessions). In trial court, your trial lawyer will present your case, help to defend you, and try to convince the jury that you are not guilty. However, if you are found guilty, the judge will convict you and issue your punishment sentence.
After being convicted of a crime, most people will choose to appeal their case in hopes of having the conviction overturned or punishment lessened. An appeal is your opportunity to have your case reviewed again by a panel of judges in The SC Court of Appeals. There are many circumstances which might warrant your appeal, such as:
- Challenging the sufficiency of the evidence used to convict
- Raising issues relating to the suppression of evidence or errors admitting evidence that should not have been admitted
- Challenging jury instructions that were improper
- Raising issues of improper closing arguments made by the Solicitor
When should I appeal my case if I was convicted of a crime in South Carolina?
If you have been found guilty of a crime in South Carolina, you must file official notice of your intent to appeal your case within 14 days of conviction.
This is when our appeals law firm can help. In order to best assist you with appealing your case, it is essential to call us for a consult as soon as possible, so we can review all the relevant documents in your case, including transcripts, witness testimonies, and evidence. Our job as your SC criminal appeals attorney is to look for court errors that may be able to reverse your conviction or change your sentence. All throughout, we will help you understand the potential outcomes for appealing your case, and how those outcomes might benefit you.
How will a SC Criminal Appeals Lawyer help me appeal my case?
Appealing a conviction is a formal and complex process with intricate rules that must be followed to the letter. Our primary role as your appeals lawyer is to ensure your case moves through these proceedings correctly, while leveraging our decades of deep experience to ensure the best possible outcome for your appeal.
After reviewing your entire trial record and exploring all possible claims in great detail, we will discuss with you the claims that are most likely to win in the courts, and we will prepare and present those claims for you. Our next step on your behalf is one of the most crucial steps of the entire appeals process – preparing the appellate brief.
This brief is critical to setting the foundation for all future proceedings to follow since it gives us an opportunity to reframe your case in the way that is most beneficial to you. It’s our chance to make clear to the Court of Appeals why your conviction is illegal and unfair.
Not all appeals involve oral arguments, but when granted by the Court, we will also represent you and argue your case to the panel of appellate court judges who are charged with hearing and judging the merits of our appeal.
It’s important to remember that appellate law is a specialty field, and very different from trial work. This means the trial lawyer who assisted you with your case in court may not have the expertise to handle your appeal. A great appellate lawyer will be honest and clear about your options, and will guide you through the entire appeals process, including any future appeals which may need to be raised on your behalf.
Elizabeth Franklin-Best has handled numerous criminal appeals in South Carolina. We can provide an initial comprehensive review of your case. Review our related cases or contact us to schedule a consultation.