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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 50-5-13 §50-5-13. Appeals in criminal cases.
(a) Any person convicted of an offense in a magistrate court may appeal such conviction to circuit court as a matter of right by requesting such appeal within twenty days after the sentencing for such conviction. The magistrate may require the posting of bond with good security conditioned upon the appearance of the defendant as required in circuit court, but such bond may not exceed the maximum amount of any fine which could be imposed for the offense. The bond may be upon the defendant's own recognizance. If no appeal is perfected within such twenty-day period, the circuit court may, not later than ninety days after the sentencing, grant an appeal upon a showing of good cause why such appeal was not filed within the twenty-day period. The filing or granting of an appeal shall automatically stay the sentence of the magistrate.

(b) In the case of an appeal of a criminal proceeding tried before a jury, the hearing on the appeal before the circuit court shall be a hearing on the record. In the case of an appeal of a criminal proceeding tried before the magistrate without a jury, the hearing on the appeal before the circuit court shall be a trial de novo, triable to the court, without a jury.

(c) In the case of an appeal of a criminal proceeding tried before a jury, the following provisions shall apply:

(1) To prepare the record for appeal, the defendant shall file with the circuit court a petition setting forth the grounds relied upon, and designating those portions of the testimony or other matters reflected in the recording, if any, which he or she will rely upon in prosecuting the appeal. The prosecuting attorney may designate additional portions of the recording. Unless otherwise ordered by the circuit court, the preparation of a transcript of the portions of the recording designated by the defendant, and the payment of the cost thereof shall be the responsibility of the defendant: Provided, That such costs may be waived due to the defendant's indigency. The circuit court may, by general order or by order entered in a specific case, dispense with preparation of a transcript and review the designated portions of the recording aurally.

(2) The designated portions of the recording or the transcript thereof, as the case may be, and the exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitute the exclusive record for appeal, and shall be made available to the defendant and the prosecuting attorney.

(3) After the record for appeal is filed in the office of the circuit clerk, the court may, in its discretion, schedule the matter for oral argument or require the parties to submit written memoranda of law. The circuit court shall consider whether the judgment or order of the magistrate is:

(A) Arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in conformance with the law;

(B) Contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege or immunity;

(C) In excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority or limitations or short of statutory right;

(D) Without observance of procedure required by law;

(E) Unsupported by substantial evidence; or

(F) Unwarranted by the facts.

(4) The circuit court may take any of the following actions which may be necessary to dispose of the questions presented on appeal, with justice to the defendant and the state:

(A) Dismiss the appeal;

(B) Reverse, affirm, or modify the judgment or order being appealed;

(C) Remand the case for further proceedings, with instructions to the magistrate;

(D) Finally dispose of the action by entering judgment on appeal; or

(E) Retain the matter and retry the issues of fact, or some part or portions thereof, as may be required by the provisions of subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(5) If the circuit court finds that a record for appeal is deficient as to matters which might be affected by evidence not considered or inadequately developed, the court may proceed to take such evidence and make independent findings of fact to the extent that questions of fact and law may merge in determining whether the evidence was such, as a matter of law, as to require a particular finding. If the party appealing the judgment is also a party who elected to try the action before a jury in the magistrate court, and if the circuit court finds that the proceedings below were subject to error to the extent that the party was effectively denied a jury trial, the circuit court may, upon motion of the party, empanel a jury to re-examine the issues of fact, or some part or portions thereof.

(6) The review by the court and a decision on the appeal shall be completed within ninety days after the appeal is regularly placed upon the docket of the circuit court.

(d) In the case of an appeal of a criminal proceeding tried without a jury, the party seeking the appeal shall file with the circuit court a petition for appeal and trial de novo. The exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitute the exclusive record for appeal and shall be made available to the parties.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, there shall be no appeal from a plea of guilty where the defendant was represented by counsel at the time the plea was entered: Provided, That the defendant shall have an appeal from a plea of guilty where an extraordinary remedy would lie or where the magistrate court lacked jurisdiction.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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