After being convicted, a defendant may appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals, claiming there was some legal error made during trial which affected the fairness of the trial. Some of the typical claims of error made by defendants include:
The appeal is not a new trial, and the facts found during the trial which support the guilty verdict will apply to the Court of Appeals' decisions regarding the legal issues raised.
The following steps occur in an appeal:
Victims of crime are entitled to be kept informed of the progress of an appeal. If the case is a misdemeanor, contact the office of the prosecutor who tried the case to notify them that you want to be kept informed. If the case is a felony, you need to notify the Attorney General's Office in writing that you want to be kept informed. You can do so by completing an online form available on our website.
You can also keep track of the case progress on the Internet through Case.net, the State's case tracking system. Click on litigant name, select the proper Court from the drop-down menu, enter the appellant's first and last names, and click on the appropriate case number. Select "Docket Entries" on the next page and follow the instructions, which will then show you everything that has occurred during the appeal so far.
Oral arguments are open to the public, so you may attend. You will be notified of the time and place of the argument if you have made a written request to be kept informed about the case. Each of the courts also has dockets of cases to be argued on their Web sites: Western District, Eastern District, Southern District, and Supreme Court.
Statements from people other than the attorneys and judges are not permitted at the oral argument. If you made a statement at trial or sentencing, however, that is included in the trial transcript, which the Court will read.