Appeals to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals begin in the circuit courts where the trial was held. A special "request for reconsideration" is submitted to the circuit court. If unsuccessful, and most are, an appeal is filed with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Time is of the essence, and strict deadlines exist for filing the motion with the circuit court, as well as the appeal to the Court of Appeals.
automatic right to appeal
Under Wisconsin law, a person who is convicted of a crime has an automatic right to appeal. An automatic right to appeal eliminates one step in the process: the request to be hear. After conviction, a person need not "ask" the Court of Appeals to hear their appeal. Rather, if the post-conviction motion to the circuit court was unsuccessful, and a notice of intent to appeal was filed, then the next step is the appeal.
There are exceptions to that rule, such as if a person wishes to appeal before the case has concluded; those permissive appeals follow a different process including a required request to be heard by the Court of Appeals. Most appeals are filed immediately after a conviction has been rendered by the court and sentencing has been imposed.
effects of an appeal
Lower courts are the "finders of facts" in a case. Lower courts review those facts in the light of applicable law, and apply that law to those facts to derive at a conclusion: a guilty verdict or an acquittal (not guilty verdict).
An appeal asks a higher court to review a lower court's process and application of law to those facts, but an appeal cannot re-litigate the facts.
If a higher court finds that the lower court erred, a defect then exists that the higher court can remedy. The higher court remedies a defect by removing it. Depending upon the defect, such a remedy can have various results such as a complete reversal or a new trial. If the Court of Appeals reverses the lower court's decision, the guilty verdict is reversed to a not guilty verdict. If the appellate court reverses a decision and remands the case for a new trial, then the new trial will be held in the original court.
who can file an appeal
A person who is convicted of a crime in the state of Wisconsin by a Wisconsin court (circuit or municipal) can appeal the conviction. A person who is sentenced after conviction can appeal the sentence. As well, the prosecutor can appeal an acquittal (a not guilty verdict).
grounds for appeals
The fact that every convicted person has an automatic right to appeal does not eliminate the fact that appeals must be brought on grounds that the appellate court can review. If there is no remedy that the court of appeals can provide, then there is no cause for an appeal. In cases involving drunk driving (OWI) convictions, prohibited alcohol concentration levels (PAC) or related charges, there are many areas where an error could have been made during the arrest, trial, or sentencing to establish grounds for an appeal. Trial records can be riddled with defects that can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the trial or, separately upon the sentence imposed after conviction. For example, charges may be incorrect due to an error in counting of prior convictions. An arrest can be illegal because police lacked probable cause to stop the person in the first place. The trial might include impermissible testimony.
Successful appeals are usually so because of the appellate attorney's keen eye for detail, years of experience in trying and appealing cases, and their knowledge of law, procedures and legal theory.
owi-dui.com can help
If you have been falsely accused of drunk driving, wrongly convicted for an OWI or related offense, or harshly sentenced, the attorneys here can help. The attorneys presented on owi-dui.com with an appeals icons are experienced Wisconsin appellate attorneys. They have proven themselves with past appeals, won remarkable appeals, and will accept appeals cases. If you suspect that your current drunk driving defense will likely result in a conviction, if you have already been convicted, or if you have been sentenced to an unduly harsh jail time or forfeitures (such as fines) and want to appeal your case, please contact an appeals attorney today.
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