In the United States, everyone should receive fair treatment by law enforcement and a swift trial by a impartial jury of their peers. Sadly, the reality of the criminal justice system often falls quite short of this ideal. It's all too common for people to end up in prison because law enforcement profiled them during a stop, only to get convicted of a minor infraction.
It's also possible for an over-zealous prosecutor to bias a jury against you by making inflammatory statements or introducing evidence that has little or nothing to do with the charges that you're facing.
If you were originally working with a public defender, you may not have received as robust of a defense as you deserved. Your public defender may have been fresh out of law school or simply may not have had the experience you needed in regard to the specific crime in your case.
Whatever the circumstances, if you believe that your civil rights or your right to a fair trial were violated by the courts or law enforcement, you have the right to appeal your conviction. Sometimes, you need to appeal to higher and higher courts in order to receive fair and impartial consideration.
Appeals can take time but change your life
The more serious the crime you were charged and convicted of, the more critical to your life an appeal could become. In extreme cases, an appeal could be the only way to ever walk out of a prison as a free person again.
When you file an appeal, it's important that you understand the ground for the appeal. Was evidence that got used to convict you handled improperly? Was information that shouldn't have been released, like a sealed juvenile conviction, presented to the jury? Was the jury selection process itself improper, or did your attorney fail to provide you with adequate counsul regarding your defense?
An appeal can't occur because you don't agree with the conviction. Thankfully, the New York court system overflows with criminal cases to the point where there is often an option for an appeal.
Evidence, jury bias and inadequate representation can all be cause for a new trial. In rare cases, new evidence or a witness admitting that he or she lied under oath can also help you in the appeals process. Sometimes, new information is so compelling that your appeal results not in a new trial but in the dismissal of charges altogether. Whatever your situation, you need an experienced appeals lawyer.
The right attorney makes all the difference
When you hope to appeal your conviction, you need an attorney who understands the New York appeals process and who can find the critical details that will make or break your case. If a public defender failed you in the initial trial, why trust the same person with your appeal?
You need someone who knows the system and how to properly file an appeal on your behalf. Working with an experienced criminal appeals attorney is your best chance at a better outcome if your initial trial wasn't fair.