In some cases, your lawyer has done everything possible but the jury returns a verdict of guilty. You may want to consider appealing the conviction. In Massachusetts, there are two layers to appeal a conviction from the district court. First, you appeal to the Appeals Court; second you can seek what is called discretionary review in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court if the Appeals Courts does not grant your appeal.
The judge in an OUI case or any criminal case may not always be correct. A defense attorney may correctly argue that a motion should be allowed, but if the judge denies the motion the defendant is forced to have the ruling overturned on appeal. Sometimes winning a OUI case involves going through a long court process.
Success Story on Appeal
One of our clients had to go through that process; she had a motion to dismiss allowed; unfortunately, the Commonwealth appealed; we had to defend the decision of the district court at the Massachusetts Court of Appeals; we were able to convince the higher court that the judge was correct to allow the motion to dismiss and the dismiss stood. Had we lost, the case would have been back on for trial.
But in some cases, when the judge denies a motion of a defendant, an appeal to a higher court can result in the motion judge being reversed. It is unfortunately when a judge gets a decision wrong because it costs more and takes more time to get the correct result, but it is a part of the process and you should understand that this option is possible in your case.
- Procedure for Filing an Appeal in an OUI case
In any Massachusetts criminal case after a verdict after trial, a defendant has the right to appeal the decision of the trial judge. The notice of appeal must be filed with 30 days of the judgment to preserve the right of appeal, through there is a process to allow for a late notice of appeal.
An appeal is a chance to undo errors that may occur at trial. A trial judge may incorrectly deny a motion to suppress, improperly admit evidence at trial or allow a case to proceed to the jury where there is insufficient evidence to support the conviction. All of these issues can be possible issues to raise on appeal. Procedures for pursing an appeal : An appeal is a process that requires a recreation of the record at trial.
1st step in the appellate process: order the trial transcript
2nd step: review the record of the trial for errors of law and appellate issues based on the case law.
3rd step: determine whether a direct appeal or motion for new trial is the most effective avenue to take in the case.
In some cases, an issue of appeal may be the effectiveness of the trial counsel. If trial counsel is found ineffective at trial, a defendant may receive a new trial.
Post trial issues: Other issues that could arise after a conviction or post conviction is newly discovered evidence. If evidence is discovered after the trial that was unknown and could not have been known, a defendant may be able to file a motion for new trial based on this newly discovered evidence.
Attorney DelSignore frequently represents individuals throughout Massachusetts on criminal appeals and has appeared numerous times before the Massachusetts Appeals Court, arguing criminal appeals. Attorney DelSignore will gladly explain the appellate process and answer your questions regarding your right to appeal your criminal conviction.
Feel free to call Attorney DelSignore at 781-686-5924 if you want to discuss appealing your DUI case.