If you've been convicted of a DUI in Virginia, it's often in your best interests to file an appeal. A DUI is normally tried in the General District Court of the area where the crime was committed, but an appeal is handled by the Circuit Court of Virginia.
Reasons to Ask for an Appeal
You can appeal whenever you're unhappy with the result of your DUI case, even if you originally pled guilty in General District Court. When your appeal is processed, the prosecutor won't be allowed to mention your guilty plea.
Common reasons people may appeal include:
- Missing evidence
- New witness testimony
- Change in legal strategy
- No legal representation at original trial
How Do I Ask for an Appeal?
The process of filing an appeal is quite simple, but you must appeal within 10 calendar days of your conviction. If you wish to appeal the outcome of your case, all you need to do is file a Notice of Appeal in the General District Court clerk’s office. The clerk will complete the form on your behalf, so only your signature is necessary.
Do I Still Need to Pay My Fines If I Appeal?
If you're appealing your case, this provides a temporary stay of judgements against you. This means, you don't have to pay your fines, serve jail time, or surrender driving privileges until the appeal is complete. If you later withdraw your appeal, however, the original sentence will stand.
Can I Get a Different Attorney for My Appeal?
It is your right to change legal representation at any time, so you can seek a different DUI attorney to handle your appeal if you believe your case wasn't presented appropriately the first time. You can also obtain representation for an appeal if you didn't have a lawyer during your original trial.
Virginia attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is dedicated to providing aggressive representation for clients, using a variety of techniques to reduce or drop a DUI charge. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.