"To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon, those who sit in darkness out of a prison."
- Isaiah 42

How do you proceed in the New York State appeals process?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Federal Criminal Appeals

The New York State appeals process can seem complex.

If you follow a step-by-step approach you can simplify it.

Understanding the appeal

An appeal is not a new trial. It is a request for a higher court to review the decision of a lower court. The purpose of an appeal is to determine if legal errors occurred during the trial that affected the outcome of the case. According to NYCourts.gov, there are four appellate divisions of the State Supreme Court.

Filing the notice of appeal

The first step in the appeals process is filing a notice of appeal. This document informs the court and the other party that you intend to challenge the decision. You must file the notice of appeal within a specific time frame, usually 30 days from the date of the decision you are appealing. Missing this deadline can result in the loss of the right to appeal.

Preparing the record on appeal

Next, you need to prepare the record on appeal. The record includes all documents, evidence and transcripts from the original trial. The record helps the appellate court understand what happened during the trial. You must ensure that the record is complete and accurate.

Writing and submitting the brief

Upon compiling the record, the next critical step involves drafting and filing the appellate brief. This document serves as a formal, written argument elucidating the errors in the lower court’s decision. It is imperative to substantiate your claims with pertinent legal precedents and statutes. The brief must adhere to stringent formatting guidelines and you must file it within the established deadlines. Additionally, you must ensure the appellate court receives the brief and that you furnish a copy to the opposing party.

Oral arguments

In some cases, the court may schedule oral arguments. During oral arguments, you will have the opportunity to present your case in person before the judges. You will answer their questions and clarify points from your brief. Oral arguments allow the judges to interact directly with both sides.

The appellate court’s decision

After reviewing the briefs and hearing oral arguments, the appellate court will make its decision. The court may affirm the lower court’s decision, reverse it or remand the case for further proceedings. The decision will be in writing, and it will explain the court’s reasoning.

The appeals process exists to allow people whom the court has wrongfully convicted to get justice.