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Can I Appeal a Misdemeanor Conviction in General District Court?

A misdemeanor conviction can feel like a severe blow, and it’s common for many individuals to accept their fate and move on at that point. This isn’t the only option available to you, though. If your case is tried in the General District Court, you have an opportunity for a completely new trial in the Circuit Court and another chance at being proven innocent. If you believe your case could be fought differently, or there are things you could change to improve your chances, it isn’t a bad idea to appeal the ruling and get it sent to the Circuit Court. There are some steps you’ll have to go through if you decide to proceed in this way, so it’s important to understand what you’re doing. 


File the Paperwork Quick

After the judge rules on your case initially, you only have ten days in order to file the paperwork for an appeal. This can be difficult for you to do on your own, but it will be easy to get all the necessary paperwork sent in with access to a lawyer for criminal charges in Roanoke. With a good lawyer on your team, you can get all the necessary paperwork in and pay the fees and bonds in order to move on to the Circuit Court. 


The fees for appealing your case are generally small and shouldn’t prevent you from appealing your case and trying again. Most courts charge less than $100 in fees, but you will have to check with your local court before paying anything to make sure you have the amounts right. 


Build a Better Case

If your original case at the General District Court wasn’t good enough to prove your innocence, you’d need a better case in Circuit Court. That means hiring a good lawyer and working closely with them to create a powerful case proving you are innocent. If you relied on a public defender before or you represented yourself, now is the time to bring in a private lawyer to defend you. Hire a proven trial lawyer that can build a solid case for you, and you could end up winning your case. 


When you go from the General District Court to the Circuit Court, you get to build a completely different case. This is one of the few situations that allows you to start over from scratch, and it’s a significant benefit that could change the final outcome of your case. The main thing to remember is that you need to build a strong case for yourself, and you should really work with a skilled attorney that will improve your chances. 


While you might feel like a misdemeanor charge is the end of the road for you, there are options available to you, and you can appeal the conviction. Don’t give up just yet; work with an experienced lawyer and find out how good your chances are and what options are available to you.