Even with the best defense, it is possible to lose your criminal case and face jail time. The justice system requires fairness and impartiality, but there are times when the system becomes compromised by misconduct, improper jury instructions or misapplication of the law.
New York allows for an individual who loses a case to file an appeal. This process asks a higher court to review the decision in place with the hopes of having it changed in the defendant’s favor.
Participants in an appeal
The individual seeking the appeal becomes the appellant, and the party on the other side becomes the respondent. Post-conviction, the attorney for the convicted individual must draft and file a notice of appeal with the court clerk. The prosecutor must receive the notice.
Information for an appeal
Both the state and federal systems allow direct appeals. This situation allows a defendant to argue issues already on record. This record draws from objections made during the course of the trial that the judge overruled or concerns mentioned as a formal addition to the record.
Process for an appeal
The convicted individual receives one direct appeal to a country court, the appellate term or the appellate division. Losing is appeal leads to a request filed with the New York Court of appeal. Though the highest court in the state, there is no requirement for this court to hear a specific case. If declined, the first direct appeal becomes the primary avenue for a verdict change.
The appeals process in New York is complex, given the different courts and appeal options. If successful, an appeal can restore an individual’s freedom.