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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Appealing a DUI conviction

Driving under the influence is an offense in Washington and the rest of the U.S. After a DUI conviction, however, an individual can appeal the case to a higher court (appellate court).

An attorney for the defendant (appellant) can ask the appellate court to review certain issues that happened in the lower court. The lawyer can bring up a substantive issue such as a motion to exclude confessions. Additionally, the attorney can raise a procedural issue like a guilty plea error.

An appellant can argue that certain legal mistakes swayed the jury's decision. Based on this information, the appellant may receive a new trial or new sentencing. Moreover, the court may dismiss the charges against the appellant.

The higher court has to decide whether to consider an appeal. It reviews the lower court's record of the proceeding. The record includes the court transcript and evidence such as documents and objects. The appellate court does not look at new evidence. There are various things the appellate court looks at to make its decision. It looks at the record and briefs from the appellant. It also reviews briefs from the other side (appellee).

First, the appellant's brief argues why the DUI conviction is a legal error. Next, the appellee's brief states the reasons why the DUI sentencing should be upheld. Then, both sides present oral arguments before the higher court. Following this, the appellate court makes its decision about the appeal.

If an individual wants to appeal a DUI conviction, the appellant must notify the court soon after the conviction. For assistance throughout the process, the individual may want to contact a criminal defense attorney. The lawyer might be able to provide valuable guidance.

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