Hartford, AL asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Alabama

Q: Bondsman robbed me, can I still appeal my conviction, if the appeal for a supersedes bond never did get filled out?

He said a 4th amendment violation would not hold up in musical court, that I needed to do a supersedes bond and go to 12 man jury. He explained that I would need to pay my bondsman 10% of the bond fee, which was $75 for each charge, which was 2, and he would take care of the paperwork. I had 14 days to appeal the case to district court. The 13th day I finally came up with the money and called the bondsman. He told me that I could send it through moneygram so I wouldn't have to drive 70 miles to him, so I did. Well the bondsman received the money, and I still have the receipt, but never did do the paperwork, and also never did get back up with me to tell me he didnt do it, or tell me that I needed to go fill out the paperwork myself. So now I am automatically guilty and got 2 warrants for my arrest. Is there anyway I can still appeal the case and act like this never happened?

1 Lawyer Answer
Samuel G McKerall
Samuel G McKerall
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Gulf Shores, AL

A: The answer is no, you can't. The deadline for filing a notice of appeal is jurisdictional. That means if it is not filed within the time alotted the court to which you are trying to appeal is without jurisdiction to hear the case and there is nothing that can be done about that. Officially, it can't be fixed.

Your question referred to a supersedas bond, but that type of bond has no application in a simple appeal of a criminal case from a municipal court. The bond you had to file was an appeal bond.

Apparently you were relying on a bail bondsman to assist you in a criminal case. You won't do that again, will you?

Now having said all that, I will advise you to go and consult a local criminal defense lawyer anyway. Lawyers and judges sometimes find ways to remedy situations that technically can't be fixed. If the lawyer and the judge and the prosecutor agree and want to do it they can usually find a way to informally fix what formally cannot be fixed. Perhaps you can find a lawyer with sufficient local influence to work something out. Stranger things have happened.

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