Should I Appeal My DUI Conviction in Arizona?
Being found guilty of a crime is disheartening – a sentence will change your life and you may feel that you have nowhere to go from that point forward. A DUI conviction can bring some scary consequences. This is why making use of every opportunity to challenge the verdict is essential.
Can you appeal a DUI conviction in Arizona? Your lawyer will know the procedures and the options ahead of you. Still, it may be a good idea to inform yourself and have at least some idea of the ways in which you could challenge a conviction.
Can You Appeal a DUI Conviction in Arizona?
Several factors will determine whether you’ll have a chance to appeal.
If you plead guilty of a DUI in Arizona, you’ll waive your right to appeal. This rule applies to DUI charges and to all other criminal charges in Arizona.
Occasionally, you may have to plead guilty when all of the evidence points in the direction of driving under the influence. When you plead guilty, you could benefit from a reduced sentence. Choosing this option, however, means you give up your right to challenge the sanctions further down the line.
When a case us taken to trial in front of a judge, the defendant has the right to appeal the verdict. This right is automatic and the case will be taken next to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Appealing your unfavorable verdict is actually a part of the legal process. Attorneys are used to this continuation of the court case and they’ll suggest the best approach to turn the verdict around.
The Appeal Process
In Arizona, different appellate courts will handle different convictions.
The Superior Court is responsible for misdemeanor appeals. The Court of Appeals handles all felony cases. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to continue appealing until you reach the Supreme Court.
Your attorney will have to submit a valid reason for filing an appeal.
In Arizona DUI cases, the plausible reasons for appealing a DUI unfavorable verdict include the following:
- Dissatisfaction with the work of your DUI attorney who handled the process in the beginning
- dissatisfaction with the manner in which the judge and the jury handled the case
- A failure to follow proper procedures during the legal process
- Discovery of new evidence that could contribute to a different verdict
If you’ve been found guilty of a DUI, your lawyer will have 10 days to file a notice of appeal.
The appellate court in Arizona will examine the additional evidence or procedural issues pertaining to the work of the lower court. Based on this examination, the court can come up with one of the following decisions – affirm the conviction, affirm the conviction but modify the sanctions, reverse the conviction and acquit you or reverse the conviction and order the initiation of a new trial.
Should You Appeal a DUI Conviction?
The short answer to this question is yes.
You cannot give up if you’ve been found guilty of driving under the influence. You have a lot riding on the court’s decision. Your life will change for sure and a DUI sentence can have some indirect and unexpected consequences.
Appealing a court verdict is your legal right. If you’re not aware of this possibility, you’ll be informed by your DUI attorney. This is why you have to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as you’re taken in custody. If you have a clear roadmap and some knowledge of the process, you will be a lot calmer and much more committed to getting your life back without facing criminal conviction.
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