Suffolk Appeals Lawyer

Following a criminal conviction in Suffolk, you could have the right to file an appeal. While there are several possible outcomes following a criminal appeal, the appellate court could reverse the decision or even dismiss the case entirely. While a conviction is not ideal, it does not mean the end of your chance at beating the charges against you.

The process of filing an appeal is complex. There are important rules required for preserving the record and filing the appeal on time. Any failure to meet these requirements could result in the court refusing to consider your appeal on technical grounds. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could assist throughout the appellate process to ensure you comply with the rules. If successful, a seasoned lawyer could help you overturn your conviction.

Grounds for Filing an Appeal

The appellate process is not intended as a do-over or a second bite at the apple. Without valid grounds for an appeal, the courts are unlikely to give your claim a second look. A successful appeal requires legal grounds. These grounds are often related to issues with the jury. If the judge provides improper instructions to the jury, for example, it could be reversible error. The same is true if there was juror misconduct during deliberations, or if a biased juror was allowed to remain in the jury.

Other common grounds include issues of evidence. Many of the legal battles during a criminal trial involve whether or not certain evidence should have been admitted or not. If the court makes a mistake and admits evidence they should not have, an appeal could be successful. Not every error regarding the admission of evidence will result in a successful appeal, however. The appellate attorney must show the error was substantial enough that it could have impacted the outcome of the trial. Appeals courts will not overturn a conviction on a harmless error.

Finally, mistakes of judgment are also an issue. It is the role of the judge to make rulings based on the law, but judges are not infallible. If they make an error during the case, a Suffolk appeals attorney could appeal to make it right.

How Appeals Differ From Trials

The appellate process is very different from a trial. At trial, both the prosecution and the defense have the ability to call a witness and submit documents into evidence. They can attempt to add any relevant evidence into the trial record that they choose.

The appeals process is far more limited. Remember: the point of an appeal is to address an error that occurred at the trial level. With that in mind, the court may only consider the evidence that was presented at trial. That makes a Suffolk attorney’s ability to perfect a court record for appeal so valuable. Any evidence that is not preserved in the record cannot be considered by the appeals court.

Instead of a jury, a panel of judges will hear an appeal. In many cases, they will review the written record and the briefs from each side before issuing a ruling. In rare cases, the court will seek out oral arguments from both sides.

Seek assistance from a Suffolk Appeals Attorney

Given the complexities of the appellate process, it is never a good idea to take on this challenge alone. A minor error in the appeals process could cost you the chance of having the court review your case.

If you believe your case was wrongly decided at trial, a Suffolk appeals lawyer might be able to help. Call right away to discuss your case, rights, and legal options.