People sometimes ask when they will get a hearing on their appeal. The answer is that they won’t get a hearing at all, except in rare circumstances. Alabama appellate courts issue their rulings based on the trial court record and on the briefs filed by the attorneys. They do not permit hearings for presenting new evidence, and most of the time they are not interested in hearing oral arguments on the legal issues.
Exceptions occur when the appeal involves a particularly complex issue of law, an unusual set of circumstances that creates a new legal issue, or when the defendant received a death sentence. Appealing a death sentence in a capital murder case is when a defendant is most likely to be granted oral argument in a criminal appeal.
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