Many times, even when a Brooklyn resident feels like he or she had a strong defense, a jury or judge may still come back with a guilty verdict. The fallout from this can be terrible and can include a person going to prison for years for crimes he or she did not commit.
Thankfully, people who feel that their conviction or sentence was unjust have a variety of legal options available to them.
A direct appeal to the state or federal appellate courts is possible
For instance, a person may wish to appeal their conviction or sentence to the intermediate courts. In the state court system, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division hears appeals.
Appeals from the federal trial courts in the area are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit has its own set of rules and procedures for handling appeals.
A person must be sure to follow the court’s rules and have a good understanding of the law when filing an appeal, which is why it is a good idea to have an attorney prepare an appeal on one’s behalf.
Other options may be better than an appeal
The drawback to an appeal is that it is not the same as re-trying a case.
While the courts will review for legal errors that happened during or before the trial, they will not consider additional evidence. For example, an appeal might not be the correct route if new evidence that is helpful to the accused comes to light after the trial is over.
In New York’s state courts, a person may use Criminal Procedure Law 440 to challenge his or her conviction on a number of grounds, including the uncovering of additional evidence.