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North Carolina Criminal Appeals

court of appeals sealThere are a limited number of Raleigh criminal defense attorneys that have litigated criminal cases in the highest courts in North Carolina.  Mr. Bridges has represented clients in criminal matters in the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Mr. Bridges has obtained relief at the direct appeal stage for defendants that have been convicted in Superior Courts in North Carolina.  The Court of Appeals does not overturn convictions very often but Mr. Bridges has been able to convince the Court of Appeals on a few occasions that the presiding judge in the lower courts ruled incorrectly and thus overturned a felony conviction.  See State v. Rose, 170 N.C.App. 284, 612 S.E.2d 336 (17 May 2005) disc. review denied, 359 N.C. 641, 617 S.E.2d 656 (2005) for an example of an appellate opinion in which Mr. Bridges represented the defendant and convinced the North Carolina Appeals to overturn the conviction.

Defendant’s Right to Appeal

When defendants lose their jury trial in Superior Court and are sentenced to probation or prison the defendant has a right to appeal the conviction to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  On direct appeal it is important that the defendant be represented by experienced appellate counsel who knows how to review a trial transcript for judicial error and raise these issues in the Court of Appeals.

north carolina court of appeals

NC Court of Appeals, Raleigh

Basically, the Court of Appeals sometimes grants relief to defendants if they find that the court (the presiding judge) has ruled incorrectly in pretrial motions or evidentiary matters or jury instructions.  Often the Court of Appeals does not grant the defendant any relief at all.  The Court of Appeals does not review the case for the accuracy of the facts presented.  At this direct appeal stage the Court of Appeals reviews the legal briefs presented by the defendant and the State and the trial transcript for incorrect rulings by the presiding judge.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina accepts a limited number of cases to review and also reviews those cases for judicial error.  Those accepted include cases in which there is a dissenting opinion in the Court of Appeals.

Click through to see the appellate opinions of the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina broken down by year.  You may conduct a rough search of the North Carolina case law by using Google Scholar.