criminal court records

Appeals Courts

There are various state and federal appellate courts for criminal cases that were appealed from state superior courts or U.S. District Courts.

For cases involving state crimes, the appeals court in Northern California is the California First Appellate District.

For federal criminal cases, the appeals court in Northern California is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cases involving state law can be appealed up to the California Supreme Court.

Federal cases, or state cases that raise federal constitutional issues, can be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Each appeals court has an alphabetical index of the parties involved in the appeal, including the defendant if he/she made the appeal.

The records kept at appeals courts will include the appeal filed by either the prosecutor or the defense attorney, any motions filed by either side with the appeals court and the final decision by the appeals court.

The transcript of arguments made in person before the appeals court by attorneys in the case may not be available in the public record. Instead you'll have to pay the court reporter to provide you a copy or ask either the prosecutor or the defense attorney if you can review their copies.

Appeals generally concern conflicting interpretations of the law as it was applied in the original court case and claims of a  "legal error" by the judge, rather than the particular facts of a case.

Appeals may be filed while a case is still in a lower court, such as when there's a dispute over a judge's ruling. Or they may be filed after a person has been convicted and sentenced, in an attempt to overturn the conviction.

The court file for the original case back in superior court or U.S. District Court that produced the appeal also will include a notation that an appeal was filed. And it will include a subsequent memo indicating the result of the appeal (although often not a copy of the appellate court ruling itself).