The consequences of a criminal conviction can be devastating. Long prison sentences and exorbitant fines lead to major financial problems for families – especially if the defendant is a primary source of income.
If you or a loved one was convicted of a criminal offense, whether by accepting a plea deal or being convicted at court, then you may be able to appeal the ruling. If you are considering this option, then it is important to act quickly.
The appeals process involves a series of complex tasks and regulations. The Law Offices of Darren DeUrso can guide you through these proceedings and help you avoid making costly oversights. Call 914-772-8614 to discuss your case with a criminal attorney in White Plains.
Until then, here are four critical steps involved in appealing a conviction:
- File Your Appeal Properly
It is important to file your appeal at the correct place, as the United States Department of Justice explains. There are currently six Assistant U.S. Attorneys within the Appeals Division. They are responsible for handling claims, assessing cases and presiding over hearings. Your criminal lawyer can ensure you file your appeal correctly.
- Do Not Miss the Deadline
If you miss the statute of limitations for appeals, then you may be out of luck. You have exactly 45 days to file an appeal; in fact, the Appeals Division must receive your appeal before the 45th day, so you should mail it well in advance of the deadline. While it is possible, in some cases, to get an extension of 30 days on the deadline, you should not rely on this because extensions are very rare.
- Understand Exactly What You Are Appealing
When appealing a conviction, you are making an accusation that the judge made a mistake when overseeing your trial, and you are blaming the conviction on his or her error. Your trial’s transcripts will reveal any mistakes and their causes.
The Appeals Division seldom listens to additional evidence or testimony, which is why your appeal goes through the Law Division first. That judge will identify legal mistakes.
- File an Oral Argument and a Brief
It is important to highlight any questionable legal issues in a brief because the State will also file one of its own. The Appeals Division will find the information it requires to rule on a legal mistake from your brief.
You should also file a request for an oral argument, particularly if you have new information that will help grant your appeal. Without an oral argument, the Appeals Division will base its decision on the arguments it finds in both briefs: yours and the prosecutions.
If you want to appeal your conviction but are unsure if you should or can, call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614. A White Plains New York criminal lawyer can identify issues to justify your appeal and help you avoid mistakes during the appeals process.