Defendants in criminal and traffic cases tried in both the General District Court and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court have an automatic right to appeal convictions and have a new trial in the Circuit Court on some future date. The appeal must be noted by the defendant, or counsel, in writing within ten calendar days (not just business days) of conviction. The day after conviction is counted as day one.

When noting the appeal the defendant, or counsel, must request either a jury trial or a non-jury trial, and a new court date will be assigned at the time of appeal. The new court date may be an actual Circuit Court trial date or simply a return date to appear in the Circuit Court, check the status of the case, select a trial date and schedule further proceedings such as a date to hear pre-trial motions.

When an appeal from the General District Court or the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court to the Circuit Court is noted, the defendant’s current bond status is often continued. However, if a jail sentence was to be served as part of the original sentence, or if there have been other changes in circumstances, the judge may elect to increase the bond amount. If increased, the defendant (not counsel) must come to the Clerk’s Office to sign any new bond forms.