You have a constitutionally protected right to appeal a finding of guilt against you by a judge or jury in a criminal case. You can also appeal preliminary findings made by a judge regarding admissibility of evidence, search and seizure challenges, and other findings of law. In most instances, the appeal of a finding or ruling must be made within 30 days of the verdict or finding. There are exceptions, but it is important to have an attorney evaluate your case promptly to advise you about the deadlines pertaining to your matter.
If you enter a plea of guilty, you will typically waive the right to appeal a finding of guilt. However, you can still potentially challenge an erroneous sentence (i.e. one that exceeds the maximum or “standard range” for the offense).
We have represented numerous clients in appeals initiated by either the defendant or the prosecution, including appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court. Appeals must be handled by a lawyer who is talented not only in legal research and writing, but also oral advocacy before a judge (sometimes a panel of judges). We are happy to discuss appellate options with you. There is a very limited time frame to preserve your rights to an appeal, so it is critical to speak with competent counsel before that deadline passes and your right to appeal is gone forever.
You also have the option of appealing administrative decisions in hearings with the Department of Licensing, as well as civil proceedings like anti-harassment petitions or protection orders. These are not covered by the same constitutional protections and will typically require a filing fee. However, you have important property rights at stake (like your driving privilege), and your freedom of association can be impacted by orders of restraint. It's important to talk to an appellate attorney about all of your rights and options on appeal.