If you are unhappy with the court's decision in your criminal or civil case, we offer a free consultation where we will provide a compassionate ear and an honest evaluation of your case and whether an appeal is the right path for you. We understand that your decision to appeal may be emotionally driven after losing custody of your children or being convicted and sentenced to a lengthy jail term.
As upset as you may understandably be from the decision, appeals can be very expensive, and there may be no legal basis on which to appeal. In some cases, the error sought to be appealed is more obvious than in others. That is why consulting with an experienced appellate attorney is imperative to ensure that a basis on which to appeal is not overlooked. If an obvious reason to appeal is not apparent during your initial consultation, you can hire us preliminarily to review your transcripts to search further for legal errors worthy of appeal. We are also experienced in post decree matters and may be able to provide you with an alternative method to obtain similar relief in the trial court.
In most cases, only final judgments can be appealed. However, there are also certain circumstances in which a specific court ruling can be appealed prior to the conclusion of your civil or criminal case. Examples of final judgments include a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage entered after a divorce trial, a Custody Judgment entered at the conclusion of a contested paternity action, or a Judgment of Conviction after a criminal trial and sentencing hearing. Very specific procedures must be followed when filing an appeal, from the type of font you may use to the size of your margin to the color of your cover page. There are also very strict deadlines that must be adhered to, many of which, if missed, will result in a dismissal of your appeal altogether with no further relief available. Additionally, in appeals involving child custody matters, all deadlines are expedited.
The process by which you appeal is initiated by the filing of a Notice of Appeal within 30 days from the entry of the final judgment. If this deadline is missed, you will be forever barred from appealing that particular decision. Additionally, if you prematurely file the Notice of Appeal, your appeal will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. However, you may not find this out until well past the true deadline for filing your Notice of Appeal. If you are served with a Notice of Appeal from the opposing party, you have a right to join in the appeal or respond to the issues raised. In fact, in most instances, you should not let an appeal go unanswered, but should file your brief in support of the trial court's decision that is being appealed by your counterpart. You too, as the responding party, have deadlines that must be met if you want your voice to be heard.
To ensure that all rules are followed, deadlines are met, and your issues are conveyed powerfully and persuasively to the appellate court justices, you need an experienced attorney to represent you. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., we have extensive experience handling family law appeals and criminal law appeals at the appellate level, as well as before the Illinois Supreme Court. Time is of the essence so do not delay in calling us at 630-953-3000 to schedule your initial consultation.