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Knowing What to Expect If You Appeal Your DUI Conviction Could Help You Decide Whether This Is Right for You

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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10/7/2015
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You may consider filing an appeal of your DUI conviction if you were innocent or the police mishandled your case—especially if this is not your first DUI. Understanding what is involved in appealing your conviction in South Dakota could help you decide whether that is your best option.

How the Appeal Process Works in South Dakota

In an appeal, a person is asking a higher court to review certain aspects of his case for legal errors. With a DUI, an appeal may be based on an illegal traffic stop or improper administration of a field sobriety test. The defendant cannot raise new evidence not brought up during the trial. The appeal process includes the following:

  • Filing the appeal. The defendant is required to file a written notice of his intent to appeal. This notice often must be filed within weeks of the conviction, so a person needs to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if he is considering this.
  • The record. In most cases, the defendant’s attorney will need to order a transcript of the entire trial and possibly other hearings, so the higher court can review it in deciding the appeal. The transcript can be expensive as the court reporter usually charges a certain fee for each page.
  • Legal briefs. The defendant’s attorney will file a legal brief, or argument, explaining what was done wrong in the trial court and any law that supports the argument. The prosecutor would then file his own brief disputing this. The defendant’s attorney may also be permitted to write a follow-up brief responding to the prosecutor’s arguments.
  • Oral arguments. In many cases, the higher court will schedule a hearing where the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor make oral presentations to the judges.
  • Court decision. The higher court will issue a written decision on the appeal a month or longer after hearing the oral arguments. The entire appeal process could take months.

Appeals can be expensive, and not all cases have good grounds for a successful appeal. If you are considering an appeal of your DUI conviction, call us at 888-733-2992 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will give you an honest evaluation of what you can expect if you decide to appeal your conviction.



Category: Criminal Defense

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