After a case is appealed and the decision does not go in your favor, you may feel like you are out of options. However, there is a possible route that your attorney may explore: a petition for rehearing. This petition has strict time limits and requirements, so it is important to discuss it with your attorney as soon as your appeal decision comes through.
Understanding a Petition for Rehearing
After you file an appeal and your case goes to the appellate court, they pass down their decision. The petition for rehearing is a way to contest the appellate court’s decision.
This isn’t the time to try out a new defense angle or fight to have evidence analyzed in a different way. It is primarily used to resolve errors made by the appellate court during the appeal trial. It takes a careful and exhaustive legal review of the court’s decision to find useful flaws.
When is a Petition for Rehearing Appropriate?
When you discuss the outcome of your appeal with your appeals attorney, they will help you understand your options. If they recommend a petition for rehearing, it means that your case falls into one of a few categories.
Situations in which a petition for rehearing may be appropriate include:
- If the court’s decision focused on an issue that was not included in your attorney’s briefs
- If the court’s opinion ignores or omits an important fact or issue raised during the case
- When a fact is misstated or misrepresented and influences the appellate court’s decision
- A legal error is made
- If there are concerns over due process
The Deadline for a Petition for Rehearing
A petition for rehearing in California must be filed within 15 days of the appellate court’s decision. This is a very tight deadline, which is why your attorney will explore and explain your options as soon as the original decision is handed down.
What Happens Next
Several things could happen after your attorney files a petition for rehearing. The court might deny the petition immediately with a written order. This is fairly common, as it is relatively uncommon for the court to realize they’ve made a mistake and reverse it.
If they deny your petition, they may still modify the original opinion to reflect the information presented.
The court may also agree that an error was made in their decision. They may issue a new decision reflecting the new information. They may also request additional briefs or oral arguments from your attorney for additional clarification. After receiving this information, they will pass down their new decision.
If the court does not respond to the petition before the original decision becomes final, the petition is considered to have been automatically denied.
Other Options After an Appeal
Your attorney may also recommend filing a review. This strategy is often used if your case poses a new legal question or issue. It is also helpful if there are constitutional violations in the original decision or handling of the case.
Once your options have been exhausted in the appellate process, you may be able to pursue a Supreme Court review.
Find Out How We Can Help With Your Appeal
Appealing a court decision can be complicated and time-consuming, which is why it is crucial to work with an attorney who focuses on criminal appeals in their practice.
At Spolin Law P.C., we fight appeals in state and federal courts. Get started now by calling us at (310) 424-5816 or reach out online. We will schedule a free consultation and explore your legal options.