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Arizona defendants can self-represent on appeals

PHOENIX -- Arizona's highest court has ruled that defendants in criminal cases can represent themselves during an appeal, overturning a state Court of Appeals' decision.

The state Supreme Court issued an opinion Friday in case involving a woman appealing a disorderly conduct conviction.

Lashauna Coleman was convicted of disorderly conduct in April 2013 and sentenced to two years' probation. A public defender filed a notice of appeal on her behalf.

Coleman filed a notice to represent herself nearly two months later but the Court of Appeals denied the motion.

The state Supreme Court says defendants have a constitutional right to self-representation during the appeals process.

However, they must file a request to do so within 30 days after a notice of appeal is filed.

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