Appealing a conviction can be a daunting task. However, having the right documents in your arsenal can make the process much smoother. The following are the necessary documents for an appeal.
Notice of appeal
This is the document that officially begins your appeal process and states what you are appealing as well as why you disagree with the conviction. You must file this document with the trial court. You should file your notice of appeal within 30 days after entry of judgment if you are appealing an order denying a motion to withdraw a plea after sentencing or 60 days after entry of judgment in all other cases.
An appeal brief is a document that explains your legal arguments for why you believe the trial court made a mistake. There are different types of briefs in appeals, but most appeals involve an appellant brief for the person appealing and a respondent brief. You must file this document within 45 days of filing the record on appeal.
If there is a record of the trial proceedings, it must get prepared and filed with the appellate court. If you want to appeal something that happened during your criminal trial or sentencing hearing, such as testimony from a witness not called by defense counsel at trial, excluded evidence, improper closing argument, prosecutorial misconduct and so forth, then you will need to order the transcripts. For instance, ordering the trial transcript would allow you to appeal the decision of the trial court to admit evidence.
There are many other documents that could potentially get included in your appeal, but these are the most common ones. In general, the documents you’ll need to file will depend on the nature of your case. Just remember that failing to provide the necessary documents could result in your appeal getting dismissed.