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The criminal case process is different for appeals, misdemeanor and felony cases. The general timeframe for a misdemeanor case is typically about 4 months from filing of the complaint through trial, while a felony case process takes typically about 6 months. Misdemeanor cases are also less formal than felony cases: with few exceptions misdemeanor defendants are not required to be present in court for each court hearing, while felony case procedure requires defendants to be present for every court hearing.

An appeal is remarkably different from a trial. The appellate court reviews the trial court’s proceedings to ensure that they were conducted according to law, and for that reason the appellate court does not decide guilt or innocence or other factual questions. Appeals take a considerable amount of time to complete, and the major events in the case are often separated by periods of months.

Appeals ProcessMisdemeanor ProcessFelony Process