New York Criminal Appeals Lawyer

If you have been convicted of a crime in New York, you have an automatic right to appeal your case, but there is no time to wait. Challenging a criminal conviction can be a daunting process, which is why you need an experienced and aggressive legal advocate every step of the way.

A New York criminal appeals lawyer can help you determine your best course of action and build a comprehensive appellate strategy.

Overview of Post-Conviction Criminal Appeals Process

In New York, individuals have a right to appeal a conviction and/or sentence to an intermediate appellate court. If a person wants to appeal a conviction or sentence, their New York criminal appeals lawyer must file and serve a notice of appeal. 

The notice of appeal must be filed and served within thirty days of the date the judgement of conviction is entered, which is usually the day of sentencing.

The post-conviction criminal appeals process begins after a guilty verdict has been rendered by a jury and the judge has sentenced the defendant. The intermediate appellate court is below the highest court in New York, the New York Court of Appeals, but above the trial court.

The nature (i.e. misdemeanor or felony) and location of the conviction will typically determine which one of the intermediate appellate courts will hear the appeal. 

Grounds for Appeal in New York

An appeal is essentially asking a higher court to review the trial court’s decision and to reverse or modify it. When a person appeals a conviction or sentence, they are claiming not only that the trial court made errors, but that those errors warrant some form of affirmative relief (e.g. granting a new trial).

The two categories of issues that can be addressed by the appellate court are issues of fact and issues of law. It is important to understand that the appellate court will only consider matters that are part of the official record from the trial court so it cannot hear new evidence on appeal. 

Generally speaking, the appellate court will not consider any errors or issues unless it was preserved for review.

 Examples of possible grounds for appeal include, but are not limited to:
  • Insufficiency of evidence
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Trial judge made a mistake of law
  • Incorrect or prejudicial jury instructions
  • Improper exclusion or admission of evidence
  • Sentencing errors
  • Plain errors
  • Jury misconduct
  • Prosecutor misconduct
  • Possible Outcomes in Criminal Appeals

    The appellate court may affirm, reverse, or modify all or part of the trial court’s decision. Some of the possible outcomes in the criminal appeals process are:

  • Reversal of trial court’s decision in its entirety (very rare)
  • Vacating a judgement
  • Granting a new trial
  • Modifying a sentence
  • Granting a hearing on a specific issue
  • Affirming the conviction
  • There is typically only a right to one appeal, meaning that if a person loses their first appeal at the intermediate court level, he or she can request discretionary review from the New York Court of Appeals, but the court is not required to hear the case. 

    Work with a Criminal Appeals Lawyer

    A New York criminal appeals lawyer can answer your questions about the appeals process for criminal convictions in New York and help you fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Contact an attorney today to discuss your right to appeal.