When an individual is convicted of DUI, that does not mean that his or her case is over. It may be possible to appeal the conviction to a higher court on either substantive or procedural grounds. A request to have a confession or other evidence suppressed is an example of a substantive appeal. Procedural appeals may revolve around an error when entering a plea or some other clerical error during the trial.
Although an appeal may not be heard or resolved for several months or years, those who wish to file an appeal may need to do so soon after a verdict is reached. In most cases, the appeals process is conducted in two parts. The first part of the appeals involves the defendant arguing that his or her trial or sentence was unjust. During this stage, the court will review the record of proceedings in the lower court, and no new evidence will be considered.
The second stage involves each side submitting written briefs arguing why the conviction was erroneous or why it should be upheld. Typically, the appellant issues a brief first before the government asserts its position. After the government submits a brief, the appellant is given the opportunity to rebut that brief. In addition to any written briefs, the court may also hear oral testimony before making a decision regarding the appeal.
Those who are convicted of DUI may face jail time, a license suspension or a fine. In addition, there could be negative personal or professional consequences that stem from a DUI conviction. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney. An attorney may be able to cast doubt on the case against an individual, which could result in a case being dropped or a conviction overturned on appeal.