Appealing a DUI Conviction in Georgia
Motions for New Trial in Georgia and Appeals in Georgia
Motions for a new trial may be granted when a jury verdict is against the weight of the evidence or contrary to principles of law. A motion for new trial may be based on the admissibility of material evidence, improper jury selection, the failure to suppress evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, the infringement of constitutional rights, failing to give requested jury charges, ineffective assistance of counsel, or other errors made during the trial process.
If you have been convicted of DUI in a Georgia court and wish to appeal the conviction, the first thing you need to know are the time limits. Georgia law requires that you begin the appellate process within 30 days of your conviction. This is done by filing either a motion for new trial or a notice of appeal.
Most convictions are appealed through a two stage process. The first stage is the motion for new trial. This is where you ask the judge that presided over your trial to either vacate your conviction or grant you a new trial. An experienced DUI appellate lawyer will present evidence and argument that your conviction should be reversed. Any issues that you wish to present on your appeal must be raised at the motion for new trial.
What is the Basis of a Successful of a DUI Conviction Georgia?
Motions for new trial and appeals are usually granted if:
- the verdict is contrary to evidence and without evidence to support it;
- the verdict is decidedly and strongly against the weight of the evidence
- the verdict is contrary to law and the principles of justice and equity.
- the defendant did not receive a fair trial under the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, and the laws of the State of Georgia
Motions for new trial may also be granted based on newly discovered evidence if the following criteria are met:
- that the evidence has come to your knowledge since the trial;
- that it was not owing to the want of due diligence that you did not acquire it sooner;
- that it is so material that it would probably produce a different verdict;
- that it is not cumulative only;
- that the affidavit of the witness himself should be procured or its absence accounted for; and
- that a new trial will not be granted if the only effect of the evidence will be to impeach the credibility of a witness.
What is the Georgia Appellate Process - How do DUI Appeals work in Georgia
A motion for new trial must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the judgment. If a motion for new trial is not granted, the order denying the motion may be appealed to an appellate court to review the decision. You can also skip the motion for new trial and file your appeal directly if you feel that is the correct strategy. Some appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Most appeals begin at the Georgia Court of Appeals.
You may also appeal any sentence, judgment, decision or decree of the court to the appellate courts. A direct appeal must be made from a final judgment or ruling meaning that the case has been resolved and is no longer pending in the lower court. Appeals from convictions in a Probate Court or Municipal Court are made to the Superior Court. Appeals from convictions in a Recorder's Court are made by writ of certiorari to the State Court of the county. No new evidence may be presented at the hearing.
An interlocutory appeal is an appeal made before the case is resolved in the lower court. The trial court must issue a certificate of immediate review within 10 days of the order being appealed and then you will have 10 days to file a petition in the appellate court seeking appellate review. An interlocutory appeal is appropriate if the issue to be decided is dispositive of the case, if the judge's ruling appears erroneous and would cause a substantial error at trial, or if establishing precedent is desirable. If the petition is granted, you have 10 days to file a notice of appeal in the trial court.
Appeals from the State and Superior Courts go to the Georgia Court of Appeals and to the Georgia Supreme Court. On appeal, the defendant no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence, and the appellate court views any evidence in favor of the verdict. The courts do not sit as fact finders and do not determine the credibility of witnesses and instead gives much deference to the trial court's findings on those issues.
The Georgia Supreme Court will not hear all cases. A writ of certiorari will only be issued in cases of great concern, gravity, and importance to the public. All other cases are reserved to the Georgia Court of Appeals. Adverse decisions of the Georgia Court of Appeals may be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.
What should you do if convicted of DUI in Georgia?
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you know that the consequences are great. However, a conviction does not have to signify the end of your case. There are many ways to challenge your conviction, and attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson are ready to help you get your conviction reversed. Appeals can be based on numerous events that may have occurred before and/or during your trial, including a violation of your constitutional rights, the admission of illegal evidence at your trial or mistakes that your trial lawyer made at your trial.
What if you Plea Guilty to the DUI?
If you pleaded guilty to DUI, your ability to appeal the conviction will be limited. However, if your attorney did not advise you of all the consequences of your guilty plea, or if you did not have an attorney when you entered your plea, you may have grounds to challenge your conviction.
Get Started on Your Georgia DUI Appeal Today
Call now to speak to an experienced appellate lawyer and receive the help you need to get your DUI conviction reversed. We will review your case for errors and determine if you can successfully appeal you Georgia DUI case.