Direct Criminal Appeals Qualification and Procedures

David S. Mejia's Louisville Criminal Defense Blog

Posted 2019-06-27

If you’re ever accused or found guilty of any crime, you have an absolute right for a criminal appeal.

The appeals process and procedures differ between state and federal courts and require specific knowledge and knowhow of the state and federal court procedures.

State Criminal Appeals

In the state of Kentucky, the appeals are taken from the circuit court of the county of conviction to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, with some minor outliners for specific cases. When deciding to file an appeal in state court, the accused must file a direct notice of appeal within 30 days of the entry of final judgement by the state court by filing a “Notice of Appeal.”

Federal Criminal Appeals

In federal cases, the process of direct appeals is taken from the federal district court to the circuit court of appeals that has jurisdiction over states in which federal district courts reside. Unlike State Appeals, the “Notice of Appeal” must be filed in federal court within 10 days of entry of final judgement, but otherwise functions in a similar manner to State Appeal procedures.

The grounds for direct appeals can vary depending on the case, but could include:

  • Denial of any and all pretrial motions presented during the trial
  • Review of the jury selection fairness process
  • Evidence of trial judge’s error during proceedings
  • Question in sufficiency of evidence for guilty verdict
  • Unfairness or abuse by judge’s prosecutorial party
  • Lack of reasonableness or legality of the imposed sentence
  • Excessive punishing for the sentence

Because the direct appeals process is extremely delicate and complicated, it’s important to keep an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who has experience and a proven track record when dealing with direct appeals in state and federal courts.

David Mejia has over 30 years of experience with direct appeals in the states of Kentucky and Illinois, as well as federal courts. Contact David Mejia with any questions or concerns regarding your appeal situation.