To vacate a judgment means to make that previous legal judgment “legally void.” Legally void means that it has no legal force or effect. Therefore, if you are able to vacate a judgment, that previous legal judgment has no legal force or effect upon you. Vacating a conviction would release a defendant from all the penalties resulting from the offense.
The most common way that a legal judgment can be vacated is by an appellate court. An appellate court can review the judgment set forth by the trial court and decide to overturn, reverse, or set aside the judgment of that lower court.
If the legal judgment was a result of a trial, every defendant has a right to appeal, and thus a chance to have the conviction vacated. However, if the Defendant pled guilty either by his own accord or as part of a plea deal, then a defendant only has a chance to appeal by leave. By leave means that the appellate court has to “accept” to take your appeal. The Appellate Court is in no way mandated to take the appeal by leave.
Another way a conviction can be vacated is by the trial court in certain limited circumstances. If there was fraud in the judgment, then the trial court can vacate the conviction. In addition, if it is determined that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the parties to the case, it can vacate the conviction as well.
Finally, if a defendant dies before all appeals have been attempted, then the judgment will be vacated against the judgment.
In other situations, if a defendant has served the prerequisite amount of time and the crime fits within a certain class, then the defendant can have that judgment vacated under the State’s specific laws. This will vary from state to state on which crimes will be able to be vacated afterwards.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
85 Broad Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10005
35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106
195 Montague St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201