New York Criminal Appeals Lawyer
If you were convicted of a crime in New York, you have the automatic right to appeal your case, but you must act quickly. Your right to appeal can be waived in a number of ways, including by waiting too long to file. We can help.
The experienced New York criminal defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. are prepared to review your case and determine if you have grounds to overturn your conviction or at least push for a new trial. Often, if a conviction is overturned or a new trial ordered, even if they still believe a defendant is guilty, prosecutors are willing to offer a much more favorable plea bargain or even drop the case entirely. With the right help, you could significantly reduce your charges and avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
You Are Guaranteed the Right to Appeal a Conviction
Whether you were convicted of a crime under federal or state law, you have the right to appeal your conviction. Even if you pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea bargain, as we discuss below, you might still have grounds to appeal. No matter how strong the prosecution claims their case may be, you have the right to challenge your conviction on appeal. If the police or prosecutor violated your constitutional rights, if there was a significant error during the trial, if the jury was prejudiced against you, or if the evidence simply should not have supported a conviction, you can challenge your conviction on appeal. A seasoned and savvy New York criminal appeals lawyer can review your case and evaluate whether you have grounds to appeal and how you can best present your case to the appellate court.
Grounds for Appealing a Criminal Conviction
There are many different grounds on which a defendant can base an appeal. Not all grounds assert that the defendant was wholly innocent of all possible charges. There are plenty of reasons why a botched trial can violate a defendant’s rights, putting them in a worse position than they should have been in given the evidence and the nature of the charges against them. Defendants have rights under the law, the New York State constitution, and the United States Constitution, and those rights may not be abridged or ignored by overzealous prosecutors or aggressive, abusive law enforcement officers.
Some examples of possible grounds to appeal a criminal conviction include:
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- The trial judge made an error of law
- Erroneous or prejudicial jury instructions
- Errors in sentencing
- Misconduct by the jury
- Misconduct by the prosecutor
- Illegally-obtained evidence included in the case
- Insufficient evidence to show guilt
If you have grounds for a successful appeal, there are several remedies the appellate court can order. A successful appeal may lead to the court vacating the judgment, granting a new trial, modifying the sentence, granting a hearing on a specific issue, or even reversing the decision of the trial court in its entirety. Even if the appellate court does not vacate your conviction and dismiss the case, you are likely to get a more favorable offer from the prosecution after a successful appeal. Prosecutors do not appreciate having to take the same case to trial a second time, especially after losing on appeal. A successful appeal is nearly always a significant win.
Appealing a Plea Bargain
Even if your conviction resulted from a plea bargain, you might still have the right to appeal. Typically, agreements to plead guilty or no contest will include a stipulation that you agree to waive your right to appeal. The United States Supreme Court has held multiple times that criminal defendants can choose to waive important constitutional rights, including the right to appeal the conviction later. The waiver holds even if the court decides to hand down a sentence above the range agreed upon by you and the prosecutor. Unfortunately, depending on the nature of the plea, courts might not be bound by the sentencing range recommended in plea bargains.
There are, however, circumstances under which you can appeal even after a plea bargain. Your plea is only effective if you entered into it knowingly and voluntarily. If there are grounds to show that you did not understand or were not made aware of the consequences of your plea, then you may have grounds to appeal. Successfully appealing a plea bargain typically requires demonstrating “ineffective assistance of counsel.” You will need to show that your lawyer was so incompetent that your plea was not knowing and voluntary.
Ineffective counsel claims may be based on:
- Counsel’s failure to explain the charges
- Counsel’s failure to adequately explain the consequences of pleading guilty (permanent criminal record, possible sentences, )
- Counsel’s failure to explain the collateral consequences of conviction such as immigration, deportation, or family law matters
Proving ineffective assistance of counsel is difficult, but it is possible. If you believe you were misled or misinformed by an attorney, either deliberately or through the lawyer’s negligence, talk to a knowledgeable criminal appeals lawyer about your options.
A Conviction is Not the End. Get Help Appealing a New York Criminal Conviction from Our Hudson Valley Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged or convicted of a crime in New York, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients charged with DUI, drug crimes, felonies, and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.