A DUI conviction in the General District Court can be appealed within 10 days to the Circuit Court of Virginia. An appeal starts the trial process from the beginning, thus giving you a second chance to get the case dismissed.
How to Appeal
Requesting an appeal to the Circuit Court is very simple. All you need to do is ask the General District court clerk to prepare a Notice of Appeal. When the form is completed, you sign to begin the appeal process.
The court costs for an appeal are usually under $100, but there is no charge if you later withdraw your appeal before the 10-day deadline.
Advantages of an Appeal
When you choose to appeal a DUI conviction, you can go into the process better prepared. You'll know what evidence will be presented and what witnesses will say. This gives you a chance to prepare accordingly.
An appeal is a good idea in most circumstances, but particularly helpful if you weren't represented by an attorney at your original trial or you have doubts about the quality of representation you received. At your appeal, you can choose a new DUI attorney to handle your case.
Effect on Punishments
Appealing your conviction puts a temporary stay on any punishment for the DUI. This means you won't need to pay any fines or serve any jail time while your appeal is pending. Your driver's license will also be returned.
The Appeal Process
When you appeal your DUI conviction, your new trial is held in Circuit Court. This court has some different rules that your attorney will explain to you, including the ability to have a jury trial.
If you lose your Circuit Court appeal, you can appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court of Virginia if necessary. However, these courts have the authority to choose if they want to hear your appeal and will only reverse decisions if it's determined the Circuit Court made a serious legal error that violated your right to a fair trial.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Virginia DUI attorney T. Kevin Wilson is committed to helping clients build an aggressive defense throughout every step of their case, including the appeals process. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.