Last Updated: January 5, 2023

Can your attorneys give second opinions on criminal appeals issues?

Our attorneys can be retained to give a second opinion on a criminal appeal case. The costs required for a formal review and consultation on an appeal will depend on the nature and complexity of the case. An appeal from a justice court in Utah normally consists of an automatic…

Our attorneys can be retained to give a second opinion on a criminal appeal case. The costs required for a formal review and consultation on an appeal will depend on the nature and complexity of the case.

An appeal from a justice court in Utah normally consists of an automatic de novo trial or hearing in the district court, without the formalities and technical briefing requirements normally involved in a full appeal to the Utah Supreme Court or Utah Court of Appeals. A justice court “appeal” is more similar to defending an initial case than it is to a full appeal.

Appealing district court decision or verdict in a criminal case involves a review of court transcripts and records to assess and determine what issues may exist or what errors were made at trial or in other pre-trial hearings or motions. A good attorney will also take time to assess the likelihood of success for any such issues or errors. It is not uncommon for Utah appellate courts to determine that an error in the district court was “harmless” and therefore does not justify a reversal of the district court case outcome.

In deciding whether to undertake a full formal appeal from the district court, it is important to understand not only what issues or errors may exist, but also the likelihood of success in the appeal process,

Originally Published: January 5, 2023

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