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Utah Criminal Appeals Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Utah Appellate Attorney - Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake CityIf you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your criminal case in Utah, you are legally entitled to appeal your case. But you must file a formal notice of appeal within 30 days of the entry of the order you want to appeal. Depending on whether you are appealing a case from the district court or the justice court, the appeal process will be dramatically different. In the case of an appeal from a Utah justice court, you are entitled to a de novo review of the case (essentially a "do over"). But in the case of an appeal from a district court, a detailed review and analysis of the district court proceedings is required to demonstrate that an error occurred that can be reversed by the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. If you are considering filing an appeal of your Utah criminal case, contact Utah appeals attorney Stephen Howard to arrange for an initial consultation.

Justice Court Criminal Appeals in Utah

Appeals from a justice court in Utah are heard in the district court. Because justice courts in Utah are not considered "courts of record" and because justice court cases only involve misdemeanor charges, the appeal from the justice court involves a de novo review in the district court.  Because there is not an official "record" of the proceedings (testimony, evidence, etc.) in the justice court, the district court does not review the justice court proceedings for errors. Instead, the district court conducts a new trial or hearing and makes its own ruling, without regard to what the justice court ruling may have been. This de novo review can go as far as a completely new jury trial, motion to suppress hearing, probation revocation hearing, etc. Because the justice court appeal system involves a de novo appeal to the district court, it is relatively fast as compared with a formal appeal from the district court to one of Utah's appellate courts.

District Court Criminal Appeals in Utah

Appeals from a State district court in Utah are very different from a justice court appeal. Because the district court is considered a "court of record" and because district court cases can involve felony or misdemeanor cases, the Utah Court of Appeals or Utah Supreme Court typically will not reconsider the evidence in the case.  On an appeal from a district court, the Utah appellate courts instead review the record (evidence, motions, court rulings, etc.) from the district court to determine whether there was a procedural error or a substantive error in interpreting the law that should be reversed on appeal.  In some cases, a successful appeal will result in a complete dismissal of the case.  In other cases, a successful appeal will result in an order that a new trial be granted, or that the case be remanded to the district court to make additional findings or orders consistent with the ruling of the appellate court.

The appeals process from the district court to the Utah Court of Appeals or Utah Supreme Court is a complex process.  Many appeals can take 18 months or more before a final ruling is reached by the appellate court.

Finding a Criminal Appeals Lawyer in Utah

As a criminal defense lawyer in Utah, Stephen Howard has extensive experience in the district courts including jury trials in cases including charges of murder, aggravated robbery, fraud, drug charges, child sex abuse, and more.  His appellate experience includes cases involving homicide, complex securities fraud, constitutional violations, and more.  Based in Salt Lake City, he provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.

If you are considering filing an appeal of your criminal case in Utah, contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, Morgan, and Wasatch Counties - and all of Utah.

Stephen W. Howard is Utah attorney, practicing as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we are pleased to provide legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Call 801-449-1409 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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