If you have taken your case to trial and are unhappy, you may be able to appeal.
This gives you a second chance, but it is important to have an attorney who knows what he is doing. Kevin R. Pettrey is an experienced appeals attorney who can help you.
If you have a misdemeanor or traffic case that you would like to appeal, there is a simple process to follow. You have ten days to appeal from your trial date in General District Court. Then you get a new trial, from scratch, in the Circuit Court. This is usually a little more formal and the prosecutor is nearly always involved, but most people end up happier with the case outcome. We have had many cases dismissed in these types of appeals. You can generally pursue this appeal even if you entered a guilty plea and can raise new defenses.
If you have already had a trial in Circuit Court, either from an appeal or a felony trial, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. This is a time consuming process that no person should attempt without a lawyer. The deadlines are strict, with the first deadline coming thirty days after trial. Multiple briefs must be filed and complex legal arguments must be made, and like something out of the movies there may be oral argument where your lawyer will debate the law and facts with three or more judges. Your lawyer must understand this process. You can easily accidentally waive an argument, and a careful review of your case is needed prior to moving forward. If you or your lawyer missed something at trial, you may not be able to bring up in this appeal and. New defenses cannot be asserted. It is important to have a lawyer at trial that understands appeals, because often special things must be done at trial to protect the appeal.