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Is there a right to a speedy appeal in Georgia?

In some cases, we see delays of several years between the date of conviction and the docketing of an appeal in the Court of Appeals or Georgia Supreme Court. Many clients rightfully ask if there is any basis to demand a favorable judgment based on the delay.

And as the Supreme Court of Georgia has explained, although there is no Sixth Amendment right to a speedy appeal, “due process concepts necessarily become implicated when substantial delays are experienced during the criminal appellate process.” Accordingly, the analytical framework created by the four speedy-trial factors in Barker v. Wingo  provides “a familiar, thorough and practical means of assessing the fairness and prejudice issues that arise in cases involving the delayed resolution of direct appeals from judgments entered on criminal convictions in which the death penalty was not imposed.”

The four Barker factors—the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of the right, and the prejudice to the defendant—are evaluated by trial courts in “a difficult and sensitive balancing process.” And we review a trial court’s conclusion after assessing these factors for an abuse of discretion. But here, we are precluded from considering this enumeration of error because, as demonstrated by the record that is before this Court, Chernowski failed to raise this issue below and may not raise it for the first time on appeal.

Chernowski v. State, No. A14A2151, 2015 WL 570691, at *3 (Ga. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2015).

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The Sessions Law Firm, LLC

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Phone: 470-225-7710

About the Author

Ben Sessions, Attorney at Sessions Law Group
Ben Sessions

I work to provide exceptional service, attention, and results to each of my clients. Most of clients come to me because they are in a completely overwhelming situation. They need someone that will do more than address their legal problems.


Hiring a lawyer is about more than getting a great result in your case. We understand that for many of our clients, the event that led them to call us causes them tremendous stress and anxiety. We will help you understand the process and how we can help. When you hire The Sessions Law Firm for your case, you will have a lawyer that is willing to take the time to help you and committed to delivering the best results possible.