What is an appeal?
An appeal is a request from a party in a lower court proceeding to a higher (appellate) court asking for the appellate court to review and change the decision of the lower court. The defendant may challenge the conviction itself or may appeal the trial court’s sentencing decision without actually challenging the underlying conviction. Most decisions of a state or federal trial court, including decisions regarding most types of civil cases, are subject to review by an appeals court. Whether the purpose of the appeal is to reverse a judge's order or reverse a final judgment entered by a jury, the examination of the lower court’s proceedings is based on whether there were any errors of law.