Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief

Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief: What You Should Know and How We Can Assist You

If you have been found guilty or have plead guilty in state or federal court, it may feel like all hope is lost for your case. However, there is no need to feel that there is nothing more than you can do. Read on below to learn more about appeals and post-conviction relief, and what we at Monteleon Law Group can do to help you through the process.

Appeals: What to Know and Understanding the Process

Despite being found guilty or pleading guilty, depending on the particular circumstances, you may be able to appeal the conviction. During this process, an appellate court will take the case. The appellate court will focus on any legal or procedural errors made during the criminal trial. With limited exceptions, in New York State, a defendant will have a period of 30 days following the date of sentencing to file an appeal.
A successful appeal will often not result in the conviction being reversed, but rather the case returning to a trial court to be re-heard.
Although very rare, there are some instances in which a conviction can be reversed. The most common reason for a reversal of a conviction occurs when the appellate court determines that there is no possibility that a rational jury could have convicted the defendant based upon the evidence that was presented. When this occurs, the case will be dismissed.

What Can You Do if the Appeal is Unsuccessful?

If the appeal is not successful, that is also not the end of the road. In this case, a petition may go to the New York State Court of Appeals and may reach the Supreme Court of the United States, although it is not highly likely that either court will take the case.
If the defendant’s rights were violated in some form during the trial, a Writ of Habeus Corpus can be pursued. This is a court order requiring a public official to deliver an incarcerated individual to court and provide a valid reason for that individual’s incarceration. The court will often hold a hearing during which that individual will have an opportunity to present evidence as to whether their incarceration is lawful or not. It is important to note that a Writ of Habeus Corpus is not available in every situation.

What is a 440 motion and How Does it Work?

Per New York State’s Criminal Procedure Law 440, convicted individuals can motion the court to have their judgments vacated. This motion can be filed to the court at any time following the entry of a judgment. A 440 motion can even be filed while the individual is still incarcerated or after they have already served their sentence.
The 440 motion will allow the defendant to present new evidence that was not presented at the trial court level. If the court grants the 440 motion, it will vacate the judgment, dismiss the accusatory instrument, order a new trial or take any additional action deemed appropriate.
Below are various circumstances in which the court may opt to grant the 440 motion:

  • Material evidence presented at the criminal trial was false and/or violated the rights of the defendant
  • The court did not have proper jurisdiction
  • The defendant was incapable of understanding the proceedings due to insanity or other mental illness
  • New evidence that was not available during the criminal trial presents the defendant in a more favorable light
  • The judgment was obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights

What We Can Do to Help You

If you have been found guilty or plead guilty, our experienced team of attorneys can assist you with your needs. Contact us today to understand how we can help you with your case.