Once the transcript is complete, then your lawyer will have 30 days to write a legal brief. The State will have 30 days to file their legal brief in response. In some cases, your lawyer might then file a 2nd legal brief, known as a “reply brief” in which they respond to the State’s brief. Once these three briefs have been filed, the entire case (the record, the transcript and the briefs) will all be given to three judges with the Court of Appeals and they will make a decision about the case.
The purpose of the legal briefs in the appellate process is to explain to the Court of Appeals how your constitutional rights were violated in the trial process. The Court of Appeals doesn’t get to act like a second judge or second jury, deciding if they think you are guilty or not. The appellate judges can only look at your case and decide if there are serious errors in the process of bringing your case to trial. If they think that there were errors, they then have to decide if those errors are serious enough that you should be allowed to have a new trial. Although there are some circumstances where your conviction might be thrown out permanently, without you having to face a second trial, those circumstances are extremely rare. In most cases, your best outcome in an appeal is to get a new trial.
If the Court of Appeals decides that the trial court did nothing wrong, they will “affirm” the rulings of the trial court. Your lawyer can ask them to reconsider by filing something known as a “Petition for Rehearing”, but they don’t have to “rehear” the case or reconsider. They will only do so if something very significant and compelling is addressed in the Petition. This is extremely rare. The other thing that your lawyer can do is to “Petition for Transfer” and ask that the Indiana Supreme Court take your case. This is also is very rare, as the Indiana Supreme Court decides less than a hundred cases every year, and they usually only pick cases that they think have significance for other people (not just you).