Post Sentencing

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Post Sentencing


An appeal is the process by which a decision can be reviewed by the next higher court. For instance, an appeal from county court goes to district court. That decision can be appealed to the Nebraska Court of Appeals and that decision to the Nebraska Supreme Court. An appeal from district court goes to Court of Appeals, then to Supreme Court

In criminal cases, defendants have 30 days to file appeal after sentencing. If they lose in the Court of Appeals, they have 10 days to file a petition for further review to the state Supreme Court. Appeals don’t “stay” a sentence, but a judge can set an appeal bond. Sentences within statutory limits will be upheld if no abuse of judicial discretion is found. 

Motion to Set Aside Convictions

A conviction may be set aside if a pardon had been issued, but it remains on the person’s criminal history record and may be used for enhancement for future offenses. They are mostly for misdemeanor offenses. Rarely for felonies.

After Completion of Sentence

A person convicted of a misdemeanor loses no civil rights after completing a sentence, aside from those convicted of domestic assaults who may not be allowed to possess firearms as a result of a conviction. 

A convicted felon temporarily loses the right to vote and permanently loses the right to possess firearms. Voting rights are automatically restored in Nebraska two years after completion of sentence for felony conviction. But only the Board of Pardons (Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State) can issue a pardon which restores all civil rights.

Post-Conviction Relief

This is the next step to challenge a sentence after an appeal has been completed. Most claims allege ineffective assistance of counsel. But they also may allege that new evidence is available that may cast doubt on their guilt. A defendant files the petition requesting an evidentiary hearing but must show there is good cause to warrant one. 


 Revised 1/2019