If you believe that filing an appeal with a higher court in Georgia would better the outcome of your DUI conviction, it may be worth trying. If the appeals court rules in your favor, they could dismiss your case, retry or resentence you.
The Georgia court system
There are two types of courts in Georgia: Trial and appellate courts. A trial court is where your DUI case was first heard and decided. An appellate court is a court that has the power to review the decisions made in a trial court. The Georgia Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court, whereas the Supreme Court is the state’s highest appellate court.
Filing an appeal in Georgia
The first step is typically filing a notice of appeal with the trial court clerk within 30 days of the judgment. It must be in writing and state the specific grounds on which you are against the trial court’s decision on your DUI charges.
The appellate court will docket your case and set a briefing schedule. This means that you and the prosecutor will have to submit written arguments (briefs) to the court explaining why you believe appellate judges should overturn or uphold the trial court’s decision. They will review your briefs and set a date for oral arguments, where you and the prosecutor will go before a panel of judges to present your points in person.
The appellate court’s decision
After hearing both sides, the appellate court will issue its decision. The court can affirm (agree with) the trial court’s decision, reverse it or remand (send back) the case for further proceedings. If the appellate court affirms or reverses the trial court’s decision, that decision is final. However, if the court remands the case, they will send it back to the trial court for further proceedings.
If you are not satisfied with the appellate court’s decision, you can file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court within 21 days of the appellate court’s decision. This is a request for the Supreme Court to review your case. The court will decide whether or not to hear your case based on certain criteria, such as whether the case presents an issue of significant public importance. If the court denies your petition, the appellate court’s decision becomes final.