With a few exceptions, no appeal can be filed until after you have been sentenced. There are no appeals from a deferred entry of judgment. A plea of Guilty or No Contest waives most appellate issues, except those relating to search and seizure and some sentencing issues. Appeals are most often filed after a trial.
An appeal is a claim that the superior court judge made an error of law that affected the outcome of your case. Many trial court errors are viewed as harmless and your appeal can be denied on that basis.
Frivolous appeals should not be filed and, sometimes, things can get worse after an appeal, particularly in felony cases. You may be asked to reimburse the government for the fees paid to your appellate lawyer. You should seek advice about appeal from the attorney who represented you at your trial or sentencing.
With a timely request, the Public Defender will file your notice of appeal or provide you with a form to do it yourself. Often, the appellate court will appoint another lawyer, who will contact you as needed.
30 days after sentencing in a misdemeanor case and 60 days after sentencing in felony cases. If you decide to file the Notice of Appeal close to the deadline, you should file it yourself. You can get a form from the Clerk of the Superior Court or download a form here:
Appeals often take six to eighteen months for a decision. An appeal does not postpone the terms of your sentence.
The lawyers on both sides will file briefs and any other pleadings that are necessary and may present oral argument to a panel of three judges. At least two of the judges must agree about the outcome and they will write an opinion explaining their decision.
If you are a public defender client, speak as soon as possible with the attorney who represented you at trial or sentencing. If you still have additional questions, call (805) 654-2201.