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NYC Criminal Appeal Lawyers

Spodek Law Group, PC, handles criminal appeals in all of New York, including NYC and Long Island. We help handle the direct appeal, or any other form of post-conviction litigation, which involves a lot of work which needs to be done. Our criminal defense lawyers review all the information associated with your case, including looking at issues which may be evident from reviewing the transcripts. Once we spot issues in the transcripts, we spend many long hours of research in order to determine which case law exists – which could be used to appeal your case.

After we find issues which support the fact your rights were broken, we create a legal brief which is drafted to argue to the court that case law + facts of the case, support our position that the conviction be reversed. Immense hard work, and attention to detail, with a large support staff – is why we can help you get the appeal you need. Once the brief is submitted, the criminal court will schedule the case for an oral argument. At this argument our criminal appeals attorneys will be asked numerous questions. The New York Court of Appeals judges will be well prepared, and ask us numerous questions in order to understand if there’s a legitimate ground for the appeal.

Our law firm, founded by former Prosecutors, puts immense work into every single appeal we handle. We have a large team, which means a lot of attention is paid to each and every detail. We take cases, and study the facts and laws until we believe there is a legitimate argument which can be used to win your case. We spend hundreds of hours on every case. We work tirelessly and relentlessly to support the work of our clients.

The majority of criminal appeals are lost. It’s difficult to win a case on appeal, than to win a case in trial. At trial, the defendant is presumed to be innocent. After you lose your trial, that presumption is gone. It makes it more difficult to win an appeal. Winning an appeal is an up-hill battle which is why you want the very best new york criminal attorneys on your side.

It’s crucial that you look at finding the best appeals lawyer. Just because someones a well known trial attorney doesn’t mean they will be a good appeals attorney. Trial lawyers and appeal lawyers are very different in terms of their skill-set and what they do. Trial lawyers have a very different job than an appeals lawyer. To draft an appellate brief, you need to be good at doing research, and paying attention to loop-holes and details in order to draft the appeals brief. Trial lawyers go to court every day. Knowledge of the law is critical to winning an appeal. People who focus on appellate law focus all of their time studying the law in order to find ways to help clients.

Our law firm handles appeals cases in all through New York, including the following:

  • Manhattan
  • Queens
  • Brooklyn
  • Bronx
  • Nassau
  • Westchester
  • Binghamton
  • Syracuse
  • Rochester
  • Buffalo
How to Overturn a Guilty Verdict in a Federal Criminal Appeal

It is a common scenario for appellate judges to defer the trial court sentences mostly because facts were not considered, rather than legal aspects. Courts seldom overturn lower court verdicts, and therefore there is no such thing as finding a perfect trial here. However, there are a set of safeguards that exist when accounting for the errors of oversight. In many cases, you will hear an appellate court overturn a guilty judgment if the trial court erred leading to an erroneous outcome. Most errors, however, are deemed harmless. On the other hand, there are some that are so serious and are presumed harmful; for instance when one is coerced to confess to an allegation.

It should be known that appellate courts seldom interfere with sentences that are handed down by a lower court. Nevertheless, in some cases where the law is clear on a particular sentence, this court may have to send back the case from fresh sentencing if the verdict was not right.

Therefore, if you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime and they have sufficient evidence that the verdict was wrongly served, or had errors, they may want to further pursue the reversal of the conviction. This will only happen in the court of appeal or writs. Therefore, in this piece, you will understand the nuts and bolts to have a conviction reversed in a federal criminal court of appeal. You, however, need to understand that cases can differ in nature and specific jurisdictions.

How to reverse a verdict

There are chances that two entirely reasonable rules are different from each other based on the agreed facts and thus there will be different judgments. However, the latter will take the day. Unless there is something serious that happened during the trial level, and you have concrete evidence, it is impossible to appeal a case because you merely believe that it was wrongly judged. With that said, however, as a convict, you have the rights to challenge the served a sentence if there were mistakes made regarding the facts of the case or if some legal aspects were not taken into account.

Here are the frequently asked questions about reversing a court ruling

What Verdicts Can Be Appealed

Appealing against a criminal sentence or sentence harshness is possible. The federal government court cannot appeal the judge’s verdict of not guilty. However, they can appeal the sentence leniency.

Who is legible to Appeal a Verdict?

In a civil case, anyone is free to appeal and have the verdict overturned. Nonetheless, the court needs to permit the party to appeal. At times the court may hear appeals from people that were not parties in the case but were in a way or another left out or were directly affected by the outcomes of the case. This is not the situation with criminal cases as only the people who were directly involved in the case at hand have the right to appeal. However, a party cannot appeal a not guilty ruling. The defendant, however, can appeal the ruling of guilty and also apply for permission to appeal the verdict. The Crown only appeals a sentence.

What happens to Criminal Cases?

Criminal cases are offenses the offenses perpetrated against the broader community. They include rape, murder, and robbery. In such cases, the defendant cannot appeal, unless they are found guilty. Nonetheless, if the court finds them innocent, this decision is final.

On the other hand, if you are found guilty, you have the right to apply for permission to file an appeal, only if you think the sentence was in a way unfair or the court made an error that resulted in this kind of conviction. You cannot, however, have the conviction overturned on the basis that you believe the court did not understand your story.

Upon your appeal being successful, the court orders either a new trial with a different jury and judge or equally may find you not guilty. Also if the judgment is found to be too harsh, this court may reduce the ruling or, and impose another verdict.

Can one represent themselves?

Yes, it is possible for one to represent themselves in a court of appeal. However, you need to get legal advice on whether you have a valid ground to go on with the suit. The staff at the court are not capable of providing this legal advice, leave alone recommend what step of action you should do while in this situation. Nonetheless, the will only enlighten you on the general court procedures and the protocols that relate to appeal.

There are situations where a defendant in a criminal case loses their court battle. They may feel they didn’t get a fair trial for a number of reasons. The defendant then has a right to appeal the decision or sentence they received during their criminal case. When this is done, a defendant is requesting an appellate court to review various aspects of their court case. The appellate court is being asked to look for any type of legal error involving the court’s procedure, conviction, sentencing and more.

Appeal Deadline
In most cases, a notice of appeal must be filed, and the service of notice of the appeal must be given, within 30 days after the sentence is rendered in a criminal case. Legal experts agree that it is unwise to avoid starting the appeal process until the last minute. It is advisable the appeal process be started within one week after the defendant is found guilty by a court. After conviction, it is common for there to be a significant time before a person gets sentenced. The benefit to filing one week after a conviction is if there are any errors, they can be corrected and refiled within the required time period.

Essential Information
When an appeal is drafted in the state of New York, there are a number of things it must include.

*Identification: The appeal needs to contain the case docket number or indictment number. It should also have the name of the defendant.

*Appeal Court: The court where the appeal is being taken needs to be listed.

*Intermediate Order: It must be listed that the appeal is based on the sentence and judgment as well as all intermediate orders that have been made.

*Court: The court that tried the case must also be listed.

Prosecutor and Service of Notice of Appeal
A defendant’s attorney in New York must also serve a copy of the notice of appeal to the prosecutor of the case.

Filing Notice of Appeal
It’s important to realize that filing a notice of appeal is very different from filing a legal argument. The legal argument will be the basis for the appeal. Many consider this a simple thing, but many lawyers make mistakes. When this happens, the consequences for the person convicted of a crime can be very serious. Should an appeal not be filed correctly, or filed after the time limit, the appeal could be dismissed by the appellate court. The lawyer who provided representation for the defendant during the court trial has the responsibility to file a notice of appeal. This must always be done when the lawyer’s client requests it.

Filing Proof
Two copies of the notice of appeal need to be properly filed with the appropriate court clerk. It is common for the office of the court clerk to have a stamping machine. This will be used to stamp the documents and serve as proof the documents were filed within the required time period. When additional proof is essential, a person serving notice of appeal can swear out an affidavit of personal service. This will have information about the date, place and even the description of the person who was given the notice of appeal. There are situations where clerks will provide a letter confirming the notice of appeal has been filed with them.

Appeal Process
During the appeals process, the defendant becomes the appellant. They will be trying to prove to the appeals court serious errors of law occurred during the handling of their court case. These errors resulted in unfair influence in a jury’s decision as well as the sentence that was given. They will be asking the appellate court to have the decision as well as the sentence dismissed. They could also ask for their case to be tried again or to be re-sentenced.

Reaching A Decision
When determining their ruling on a case, the appellate court will review the case records as well as the briefs that were written by each side involved in the appeal. Many things will be examined. Everything from the opening arguments, court conduct as well as why a conviction or a sentence could be legally in error. Each side of the case will present its views why they believe what happened during the trial was correct or incorrect. An appellant is usually able to file a second brief in response to the government’s position on the issues. It’s possible for an appellate court to hear oral arguments from both sides before reaching their decision.

The Right to Appeal from a New York City Criminal Court Conviction

Immediately after the Judge announces sentence regardless of whether it is by conviction or by plea after trial, the defense attorney will generally advise the client on the record that in the event they want to appeal they have 30 days to file the Notice of Appeal and will hand over written notice on their right to appeal.

If you were pro-se you can request that the Clerk of the Court file the Notice of Appeal on your behalf.  In order to do so, you must send written notice to the Criminal Court Appeals Bureau.

If you are without funds to pay for the appeal and/or an appellate lawyer you must write to the Appellate Term requesting that counsel be assigned to you for the purpose of the appeal. This letter should be sent directly to the appropriate Appellate Term.

In this letter it should also be stated that you are requesting to appeal upon the original record.

How To Appeal From A New York Criminal Court Conviction?

The Criminal Court Appeals Bureau is located in 346 Broadway, Room 400S New York, NY 10013. The number to the Criminal Court Appeals Bureau is (646) 386-4949. This is also known as the Summons Court for Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you are convicted in either New York Criminal Court (Manhattan) or the Bronx Criminal Court then your appealing to the Appellate Term – Supreme Court – First Department. If you are were convicted in Kings Criminal (Brooklyn) Court, Queens Criminal Court or Richmond (Staten Island) Criminal Court your appealing to the Appellate Term – Supreme Court – Second and Eleventh Districts of the Second Department.

Under Section 460.10(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”) the Clerk of the Appeals Bureau is the “Clerk” referred to in said section. A convicted defendant is authorized by right to appeal a conviction or a sentence under Section 450.10 of the CPL within 30 days after sentence is imposed. The defendant or defendants counsel must file the Notice of Appeal in duplicate along with proof of service on the Assistant District Attorney or whomever the appropriate prosecutor was. The proper procedure is to first serve the District Attorney’s Office and then the Criminal Court Appeals Bureau. This way the appeals bureau copy has the appropriate stamp on it. If not, the proper method is to attach an Affidavit of Service.

Unlike an appeal to the sentence of the conviction, an appeal from an Order denying a Motion to Vacate a Judgement under 440.10 of the CPL or to set aside a sentence under CPL 440.20 is only authorized by permission. See CPL 450.15. An Application for a Certificate Granting Leave to Appeal, is made to the appropriate Appellate Term. The Application must be made within 30 days after service upon the defendant of a copy of the Order fr which the defendant seeks to appeal, and must be on reasonable notice to the District Attorney’s Office. The Application must be in writing, must set forth questions of law and/or facts to be reviewed and must contain a statement as to whether or an application for this type of relief has been previously been made before. Only one application can be made. Once the defendant obtains the appropriate certificate, the defendant and/or defense counsel must file within 15 days of the issuance of the certificate a written Notice of Appeal. Again, the Notice of Appeal must provide proof of service upon the District Attorney’s Office.

The Record on Appeal must be filed with the Clerks of the Appeals Bureau within 120 days after the imposition of the sentence. It must be printed or typed. The Record on Appeal must include the following:

  • A Certified Copy of the Criminal Court Information, or Appearance Ticket with all of the necessary attachments and endorsements.
  • The original copy of the court transcripts from the arraignment, hearing, trial, or plea and sentence along with any other proceedings which are relevant to the appeal.
  • A stipulation endorsed by the adversary waiving the requirement of the transcripts if the appeal is going to be limited to issues that are not encompassed by the waived minutes.
  • Again, along with all appellate documents there must be proof of service.

Documents Needed to be Filed with the Appellate Term

First Department

In the First Department you must file a Notice of Argument plus four copies of the brief. A copy of the brief must also be served on the District Attorney’s office.

Second Department

In the Second Department you must file a Note of Issue plus three copies of the brief. A copy of the brief must also be served on the District Attorney’s office.

The respective appellate term provides the details of how the papers should be organized here:

First Department:

60 Centre Street, Room 401
New York, NY 10007
(646) 386-3040

http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad1/Practice&Procedures/rules.shtml#600.11

Second Department:

141 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(347) 401-9580

General understanding:

http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad2/howacaseisdecided.shtml#appeals

In the event you can not afford to pay the filing fees and other related costs then an application for the Right to Appeal as a Poor Person must be made to the appropriate Appellate Term.

If you want to move for an Order Staying Judgement of Sentence of the Criminal Court the request must be made on reasonable notice to the District Attorney’s office and is made to a Supreme Court Judge in the County in which the Judgement was entered. No more then one application to Stay Judgement of the Sentence of the Criminal Court can be made. CPL 460.50(3).

Todd A. Spodek is a NY criminal lawyer with Spodek Law Group P.C. Our office is located at 100 Church Street, 8th Floor New York, NY 10007. Our office is open 24/7 and we can be reached at (888) 829-1365

What are pleas of not responsible due to mental defect in New York?

On the Defendant’s Arraignment

On the defendant’s actual arraignment in front of a superior court upon his or her indictment, the court needs to immediately inform him or her, or cause him or her to in fact be informed in presence of the court, of the charge or charges against him or her, and the district attorney also needs to ensure that he or she is given a copy of the indictment.

On the Defendant’s Rights

The defendant has a right to the aid of counsel at the arraignment, and also at every subsequent stage of the entire action, and, if he or she appears on said arraignment without any counsel, he or she has the following rights: to an adjournment for the sole purpose of obtaining some sort of counsel, to communicate, completely free of charge, either by letter or by phone provided by the specific law enforcement facility where the defendant’s being held to a phone number located somewhere in the United States or Puerto Rico, for the sole purpose of obtaining some sort of counsel, and also informing a relative or a friend that he or she has in fact been charged with a crime, and to have counsel that’s assigned by the court in any case where he or she is financially unable to obtain this on their own.

On Expectations of the Court

The court must in fact inform the defendant of all their rights as specified in subdivision two. The court also must accord the defendant some opportunity to exercise these rights, and must itself take such a kind of affirmative action as deemed necessary to make this happen.

If the defendant actually wants to proceed without the aid of any sort of counsel, the court needs to allow him or her to do so as long as the court is satisfied that he or she made this decision with full knowledge of the significance that entailed, but if the court is not satisfied that this is the case, it in fact may not proceed until the defendant is provided with some sort of counsel, either of his or her own choosing, or by assignment. A defendant who decides to proceed at the arraignment without any sort of counsel does not waive his or her right to counsel, and the court must inform him or her that he or she continues to have this right, as well as all of the rights specified in subdivision two, all of which are necessary to make it happen, and that he or she can exercise said rights at any stage of the action.

On the arraignment, the court, unless it actually intends to make a final disposition of the action immediately after, must, as provided in the previous section 530.40, issue a securing order which releases the defendant on his or her own recognizance, or fixing bail, or else committing him or her to the custody of the sheriff for his or her future appearance in said action.

As you can see, it’s vitally important to understand the intricacies of the law in the state of New York in order to allow the law to work in your favor. This remains the same whether you’re currently facing charges, know someone who’s currently facing charges, or are just concerned with protecting yourself legally. While the law can seem confusing and complicated at first glance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let us help you to better understand the letter of the law.

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