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Understanding NYC Criminal Appeals

Manhattan and Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

When a defendant is found guilty in criminal court and sentenced, he or she may have the right to appeal the conviction. The criminal appeals process allows a person who has been convicted to possibly have a conviction overturned or a sentence reduced, usually through a retrial. In New York, a person convicted after a trial has the automatic right to appeal the conviction.

You Only Have 30 Days to File an Appeal

Appeals must be filed with the Appellate Division within 30 days of the date that the defendant was sentenced, and a copy of the notice of appeal must be served on the prosecuting attorney within the same 30-day time limit. Filing an appeal in a timely fashion will help preserve a defendant's right to appeal. If a defendant pleaded guilty to a crime, he or she may need to get permission from the court to file an appeal.

Interested in finding out whether you can appeal a conviction?

Your best course of action may be to talk to a New York City criminal defense attorney at Musa-Obregon Law PC. The firm offers experienced legal representation to defendants throughout Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Rockland County, and Westchester County. If you were represented by another attorney who failed, the firm may be able to take over and file an appeal on your behalf. You can learn more about your options and legal rights by scheduling a confidential case review with a lawyer at the firm.

The Appeals Process in New York

Filing an appeal is just the beginning of a complicated legal process where the entire trial is examined in detail by an appellate court. Judges who are involved in reviewing trials for criminal appeals look for errors that may influence the verdict of the case and may disregard those errors that are they consider did not affect the outcome. This difficult process is time-consuming and takes great commitment to the client. A painstaking review of the case is necessary to determine its legitimacy. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how the appeal process works and can file a compelling, well-prepared appeal on your behalf.

The basic appeals process in New York may go as follows:

  • The defendant is tried and convicted after a criminal trial.
  • The Department of Probation prepares a pre-sentence report on the defendant, which the judge then uses to help determine the defendant's sentence.
  • The judge sentences the defendant.
  • The defendant files a notice of appeal to the Appellate Division within 30 days of his or her sentencing (delaying may affect one's ability to file an appeal).
  • A copy of the notice of appeal is served on the prosecutor (also within 30 days).
  • The attorney representing the defendant fully researches every aspect of court transcripts and other applicable evidence and information to determine what errors were made, if any.
  • The attorney prepares a lengthy document, called an appellate brief, which details what errors were made in the trial and how these affected the outcome.
  • The attorney also prepares an oral argument to accompany the appellate brief.
  • The attorney then delivers the oral argument along with the appellate brief in front of a panel of judges at the Appellate Division.
  • The judges review all the evidence at hand in regard to the trial and appellate brief, including the prosecution's oral argument and brief, to come to a decision on the matter.

What happens if my appeal is successful?

If an appeal is successful, the Appellate Division may order a retrial or may dismiss the case entirely. Most successful appeals result in the court ordering the case to be tried again. In some cases, however, the court may decide that the entire case should be dismissed, based on insufficient evidence and the conclusion that no rational jury would have convicted the defendant based upon the evidence at hand. This is a rare outcome; less than 1% of cases are reversed based upon insufficient evidence.

Criminal Appeal Lawyer Serving All of Queens & NYC

In filing an appeal, it is important to remember that while each case is unique, what doesn't change is your right to justice. When the system breaks down and a wrongful conviction is the result, every possible effort must be taken to seek to right this wrong. Regardless of the extenuating factors unique to your case, it is important to realize that you need a legal professional who is dedicated to your cause.

Contact a Queens criminal appeal lawyer at the firm today and experience the difference provided by skilled and aggressive representation.

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