An interlocutory appeal in Rhode Island happens while a case is still pending in a trial court and is very different from a direct appeal.
Interlocutory appeal means an appeal in the middle, or while is case is still pending.
Trial judges make many rulings over the life of a criminal case. Judges rule on whether or not to allow evidence at trial as well as rulings on pretrial motions and other issues.
A lawyer can challenge a pretrial decisions through the interlocutory appeals process. The reason for this type of appeal is to prevent an interlocutory decision from preventing a defendant from receiving a fair trial.
There are restrictions for interlocutory appeals because courts do not want factional litigation.
For example, in some Rhode Island jurisdictions, there exists no right to an interlocutory appeal. In other jurisdictions, only the prosecution or government can file for an interlocutory appeal if aggrieved by an intermediate or pretrial decision or ruling of a trial judge. In other jurisdictions, both parties have an equal right to file for interlocutory relief.
Filing an Interlocutory Appeal in Rhode Island
Filing an interlocutory appeal is often not a matter of right, even in those places where this procedure exists. Often times, the party seeking to file an interlocutory appeal must apply to the appeals court for permission to do so.
The appeal court will then decide if the claim(s) raised should be addressed while the matter remains pending in the trial court or later, such as after trial on direct appeal.
Your attorney can help you decide if an interlocutory appeal is right for you and available under the rules of criminal procedure that govern your case.