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Massachusetts Criminal Appeal Attorney

Criminal appeals are prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney and involve crimes such as assault, arson, burglary, gun offenses, drug charges, home invasion, rape, kidnapping, identity theft, etc.

An appeal is not a new trial and it is nothing like what you experienced in the trial court. For all practical purposes, there is no new evidence on appeal. When your case moves from the trial court to the appellate court you need need a different type of lawyer, an appellate lawyer.

An appeal determines whether what occurred in the trial court was fair, whether the evidence was legally sufficient to justify the outcome, and whether the law was correctly interpreted in the trial court. The written brief is the primary form of argument on appeal.

Drafting an appellate brief requires an extreme attention to detail, large blocks of time, keen legal research and writing skill. Attorney Driscoll regularly practices in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court. He knows what appellate judges seek and how to effectively communicate his client's case.

Attorney Driscoll handles a wide ranges of criminal appellate cases, from gun crime to white-collar crime. A criminal conviction is far reaching. Besides incarceration or probation, there is the impact upon other rights such as present or future housing, employment, immigration, and government benefits. A subsequent arrest can be treated more harshly (e.g., bail) and a subsequent conviction can result in harsher sentencing.

You and your trial lawyer may have done everything possible, but the judge or jury still returned a guilty verdict. To challenge that guilty verdict you will need to appeal to undo any errors that occurred in the trial court.

Motion for New Trial

Generally speaking, there is no new evidence considered on appeal. A new trial motion is a way to bring up some forms of new evidence not entered at trial. That motion is also an opportunity to bring to light a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel (e.g., failing to investigate thereby waiving a valid defense at trial).

Post-conviction proceedings including direct criminal appeals and collateral attacks such as new trial motions, motions for relief from unlawful restraint, sentence appeals, motions to revise and revoke sentence, and other post-conviction matters.

The Appeal

There are many other possible mistakes, errors, and oversights that can occur during a criminal prosecution. An appeal challenges the process received in the trial court. For example, a trial judge may incorrectly deny a motion to suppress, improperly admit evidence at trial, allow the jury to proceed where there is insufficient evidence to support a conviction, or the failure to properly instruct the jury on the law. A criminal conviction is not final until your appellate rights are exhausted. Do not delay!

Appeals are very procedural and time sensitive, beginning with the filing of a timely and proper notice of appeal. The key is identifying viable issues for appeal, a task requiring appellate experience. If the case is worth an appeal then it is worth engaging experienced appellate counsel.