The Colorado Appeals Process

After a criminal conviction in district court, a defendant is entitled to an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals “as of right” as part of the Colorado appeals process. That means…

No matter what the issues are that are raised on appeal, the defendant has a right to be heard by the appellate court.

This is different than the discretionary jurisdiction the Colorado Supreme Court exercises over the cases it considers. In practice, how an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals works is regulated by court rules, the rules of criminal procedure, the Colorado Appellate Rules, and Colorado statutes.

When considering an appeal, the most important consideration to keep in mind if an appeal is contemplated is the time requirements.

You need to know the deadlines and submit the correct information, on time.

In criminal cases from the district courts, a “Notice of Appeal” must be filed with the court of appeals within 49 days after the entry of the judgment. If the appeal is a direct appeal of a criminal conviction, the date of entry of the judgment is the sentencing date.

In other appeals, such as an appeal of a denial of a post conviction relief motion, the date for entry of the judgement is typically the date the order is issued and served upon the parties.

In addition to the “Notice of Appeal” certain court documents must be submitted to the court as well as a designation of the record on appeal. The record on appeal should include the trial court’s file, all transcripts from all hearings and the trial, as well as any exhibits that were or were not introduced at trial.

An appellate court is only allowed to consider facts that are before it in the record on appeal, so it is vital that the record be complete and free from errors.

If you know you need help determining the correct documents to submit and how to submit them, start now by scheduling a Free Case Evaluation.

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Once the record on appeal has been completed and filed with the court of appeals, the appellant-defendant receives a copy of the record for review and to cite to in the appellate briefs.

The court will also issue a briefing schedule, requiring the appellant-defendant to file an opening brief within 42 days of the date of the filing of the appellate record. The appellee will also have a set time frame for filing a response brief, and the appellant-defendant is entitled to file a reply brief if deemed necessary.

After all briefs have been submitted, either party may request oral arguments before the panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling upon the appeal.

If you are unsure how to file a response brief, start by scheduling your Free, no obligation case evaluation today and get answers to your important questions.

Time is of the essence. Take action today.

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