Appeals for Infractions
What is an Appeal?
If you are found guilty at your traffic trial, you are allowed to appeal the court’s decision.
An appeal is NOT a new trial. It is when the appellate department of the Superior Court reviews the evidence (testimony and exhibits) already presented at the original trial.
For more information, read Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO) . It will provide you with important information about the appeal process.
Can I Ask for an Appeal?
To ask for an appeal, one of two things must have happened:
- The evidence in the trial court was not enough to justify the court’s decision, or
- There were errors of law during or before the trial that hurt your case.
To decide if the evidence was not enough to justify the decision, the appellate court will review the record.
How and Where Do I File an Appeal?
File your Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142) in the Traffic Division where your trial was held.
Is There a Deadline to File an Appeal?
Yes. You must file a Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142) within 30 days of entry of judgment or court order. This is normally the date of your trial. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to appeal. This date cannot be extended so be sure that your appeal is timely filed.
Does the Appeal Stop the Judge’s Sentence?
No. Filing the Notice of Appeal does NOT automatically postpone the deadline for paying your fine or completing any other part of your sentence. To postpone your sentence, you must ask the judge for a "stay" of the sentence. You must reserve a date to see the judge.
Do I Have to File Any Other Papers After the Notice of Appeal?
You must tell the trial court whether you want a record of what was said in the trial court (called oral proceedings). The Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142) includes boxes you can check to tell the court whether and how you want to provide this record.
What Are the Different Types of Oral Proceedings?
You do not have to send the appellate division a record of what was said in the trial court. But if you want to raise any issue in your appeal that would require the appellate division to consider what was said during the trial, the appellate division will need a record of these oral proceedings. There are three ways a record of the oral proceedings in a trial court can be prepared:
- You can complete a Proposed Settled Statement on Appeal (CR-143) . This is the most common method.
- If the trial was officially electronically recorded, when recording equipment is used, the trial court can have a transcript prepared from the recording, however, traffic trials are rarely electronically recorded in Orange County.
- If a court reporter was there during the trial, the reporter can prepare a record called a "reporter’s transcript", however, court reporters are rarely present at a traffic trial in Orange County.
What Happens after the Record is Prepared?
As soon as the record of the oral proceedings is ready, the clerk of the trial court will send it to the appellate division of the Superior Court along with the Clerk’s Transcript. You will then receive a notice from the appellate division telling you when you must file your brief. There are no court forms and you may need the assistance of an attorney. The Self-Help Centers do not provide assistance with preparing appellate brief(s). If you decide to prepare the brief yourself, you should read Rules 8.927-8.928 of the California Rules of Court.
What Should I Do If I Want to Give Up My Appeal?
If you decide you do not want to continue with your appeal you must file an Abandonment of Appeal (CR-145) . By deciding not to continue with your appeal you give up the chance to raise any objections to your conviction, sentence, or other matter that you could have raised on appeal. If your sentence was stayed due to the appeal, you may be required to start complying with your sentence immediately.
For more information on the appeal process, read the Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO) .