If you think your criminal conviction—or some aspect of the proceedings leading up to it—was anything but fair, there may be a way to have the verdict overturned. By filing an appeal, it could be possible to clear your name.
When you appeal a criminal conviction, you’re essentially telling the court that some kind of mistake occurred between when you were initially stopped by police and when you were found guilty and sentenced. There may have been a procedural error, or someone—e.g., law enforcement personnel, a prosecutor, or a judge—may have made an error when handling your case.
At the end of the day, everyone deserves a fair trial. Since those responsible for enforcing the law are only human, however, that doesn’t mean everyone gets one. As such, the appeals process is necessary for ensuring justice will hopefully always be served.
The easiest way to determine whether you’re eligible to file an appeal is by consulting an attorney. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your conviction to determine where a mistake might have occurred and, if so, how best to prove it.
Since every conviction is unique, there are no blanket statements regarding who is and is not entitled to file an appeal. There are, however, some common grounds on which most appeals are filed. Generally speaking, you may have a chance of overturning your conviction if you can prove at least one of the following:
- The evidence used against you was insufficient;
- The evidence used against you had not been obtained by legal means;
- The jury did not receive proper instructions before deliberating;
- You did not have adequate representation during the trial; or
- The judge made errors when applying specific laws to your case.
If you think any of these issues contributed to your conviction, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you prepare the documents needed to submit your request with the appellate court system. Or, if you have reason to blame your conviction was unfair but you’re not quite sure how, a lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation that hopefully yields any vulnerabilities or discrepancies in the prosecutor’s case against you.
How Long Do You Have to Appeal a Criminal Conviction in New York?
In most cases, appeals must be filed promptly. Convicted offenders often have less than 35 days to file the associated documents. As such, it’s wise to enlist legal help as soon as possible if you want to try overturning a verdict.
Speak with a Morristown Criminal Defense Attorney
To see if you have grounds for a criminal appeal, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura. Even if you think your chances of getting your conviction overturned are low, you’ve got nothing to lose by reaching out and at least exploring your options.
Our strategic team has the knowledge, resources, and experience to assist with every stage of your appeal. Call (973) 832-0841 or complete our Online Contact Form to schedule a free case review with a criminal defense lawyer in Morristown.