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How long do I have to file an appeal?

Under Missouri law, a criminal appeal must be filed with the trial court clerk within 10 days of the final judgment. The judgment is considered final when one of the following happens:

-- The sentence is imposed

-- Both the sentence and judgment are entered according to the jury's verdict

-- Allocution is given

-- A motion for a new trial is overruled

Because there is a limited time frame for the appeal, it is important that all of the paperwork be complete when the appeal is filed. A notice of appeal for a criminal case must include the court and the judgment that is being appealed as well as which party is appealing. The notice of appeal must also be signed. Once the appeal is filed with the clerk, the clerk will send out copies of the appeal to the other parties in the case to ensure that everyone involved is aware that the judgment is being appealed.

In addition to the normal paperwork associated with an appeal, those filing criminal appeals must also complete and file the Criminal Case Information Form and a copy of the appeal bond if applicable.

While the guidelines for when an appeal can be filed are fairly strict, there are some exceptions to the 10-day rule. Those wishing to appeal a judgment after that window has passed have options. In these situations, the person wishing to appeal must get permission from the courts to file a late notice of appeal, and a written motion seeking that permission is filed with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals.

Source: Your Missouri Courts, "Initiating an appeal" Aug. 25, 2014

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