We handle a variety of post-judgment proceedings for Georgia criminal convictions.
Following a trial and conviction, there is a short time frame to seek relief.
Normally, the first step is to file a motion for new trial. Ordinarily, it must be filed within thirty days of the conviction and sentencing. A motion for new trial can be based on general grounds. At an appropriate time, the motion can be amended to set out specific complaints about the trial procedure, although such amendment is not required. The motion for new trial stays the time running for the deadline to file an appeal, and it is often used as a mechanism to protect the defendant's appeal rights while the trial transcript is being prepared. A hearing can be held on the motion for new trial to address issues that are not evident from the trial transcript such as the actions or lack of action of trial counsel in investigating, preparing and conducting the trial.
To proceed with an appeal, a notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days of the criminal judgment becoming final. This would be the later of the sentencing or the denial of the motion for new trial. The notice of appeal causes the clerk of court to be required to prepare and submit a copy of the docket record and transcripts to the appropriate appellate court. Upon the appellate court docketing the appeal, a briefing order issues setting the time limits for submission of written briefs on the issues.
Where the time for motion for new trial and appeal has run and the case is not proper for an extraordinary motion for new trial or in cases where a plea was entered, it is sometimes possible to seek review of the case through a habeas corpus proceeding.