This guide is not intended to cover every situation that might arise when one decides to appeal his or her conviction. Additionally, please keep in mind that the law is subject to change. It is therefore always advisable the one consult with an attorney before handling any criminal matter pro se.
Determine whether you want to motion for a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict?
If a defendant intends to ask the trial court for a new trial then he/she must file a motion for new trial within 30 days of the conviction pursuant to Georgia Code Section 5-5-40(a), which states in pertinent part as follows: all motions for new trial ... shall be made within 30 days of the entry of the judgment.
Determine which appellate court has jurisdiction.
As a general matter, the Georgia Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over noncapital offenses, while the Supreme Court of Georgia has exclusive jurisdiction over an appeal from a murder conviction pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Article 6 Â§ 6, paragraph V (1983) and O.C.G.A. Â§5-6-15 (supp. 1992).
File a notice of appeal within 30 days of the conviction or denial of the motion for new trial.
Pursuant to Georgia Code Section 5-6-38 (a) A notice of appeal shall be filed within 30 days after entry of the appealable decision or judgment complained of; but when a motion for new trial, a motion in arrest of judgment, or a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict has been filed, the notice shall be filed within 30 days after the entry of the order granting, overruling, or otherwise finally disposing of the motion.
The notice must be filed with the clerk of court and comply with Georgia Code Section 5-6-7.
Georgia Code Section 5-6-37 states in pertinent part as follows: ... an appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals by filing with the clerk of the court wherein the case was determined a notice of appeal. The notice shall set forth the title and docket number of the case; the name of the appellant and the name and address of his attorney; a concise statement of the judgment, ruling, or order entitling the appellant to take an appeal; the court appealed to; a designation of those portions of the record to be omitted from the record on appeal; a concise statement as to why the appellate court appealed to has jurisdiction rather than the other appellate court; and, if the appeal is from a judgment of conviction in a criminal case, a brief statement of the offense and the punishment prescribed.
Review the suggested notice of appeal form provided in Georgia Code Section 5-6-51
(CASE HEADING) NOTICE OF APPEAL Notice is hereby given that _____________, defendant above-named, hereby appeals to the _____________ (Court of Appeals or Supreme Court) from the judgment of conviction and sentence entered herein on (date) , . The offense(s) for which defendant was convicted is (are) ______, and the sentence(s) imposed is (are) as follows: _____________. Motion for new trial (or motion in arrest of judgment, etc.) was filed and overruled on (date) , The clerk will please omit the following from the record on appeal: Transcript of evidence and proceedings will/will not be filed for inclusion in the record This court, rather than the (Court of Appeals or Supreme Court) has jurisdiciton because: (CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE)
Contact the court reporter and make financial arrangements for the filing of the trial transcript.
This step is necessary to determine whether a motion to extend should be filed.
File a motion to extend the time for filing the trial transcript if it will not be filed within 30 days.
Pursuant to Georgia Code Section 5-6-42, ... the party having the responsibility of filing the transcript shall cause it to be filed within 30 days after filing of the notice of appeal or designation by appellee, as the case may be, unless the time is extended as provided in Code Section 5-6-39. Pursuant to Georgia Code Section 5-6-39 (a), any judge of the trial court or any justice or judge of the appellate court to which the appeal is to be taken may, in his discretion, and without motion or notice to the other party, grant extensions of time for the filing of: (1) Notice of appeal
Pay the Clerk of Court for the preparation of the record.
Georgia Code Section 15-6-80 states in pertinent part as follows: in all cases certified to the appellate courts, the costs for preparing the transcript of the record shall be paid by the appellant to the clerk before the same is transmitted unless the appellant makes affidavit that he is unable to pay such costs or give security therefor.
File your appellant's brief within 20 days of the date in which the appeal was docketed.
It is a requirement of both Appellant courts that the appellant's brief be filed within 20 days.