Criminal Appeals

If you believe that you were wrongfully convicted, treated unjustly or that your sentencing was overly harsh, you may be right – and you need to speak with Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Defense Lawyer Kathleen McCarthy at 978-975-8060 or contact us online to send an email.  There are strict time limits on Criminal Appeals – the sooner you call, the sooner she can start working on your behalf.

A conviction is not the last word of the criminal law process.  Criminal appeals lawyers fight to overturn verdicts for those who have been wrongfully arrested, wrongfully convicted, those whose constitutional rights have been violated, and whose freedom has been wrongfully denied.  Criminal appeals are used to challenge convictions and sentences.

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a crime and you wish to appeal that conviction, call Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Lawyer Kathleen McCarthy at 978-975-8060 or contact us online to send an email to arrange a consultation about a criminal appeal.  She will explain to you how the appeals process works, explore the different choices to make, and help decide what to do next.

Criminal appeals are used when police procedures or courtroom processes are not followed and poor decisions are made by the people who are responsible for protecting the rights of all citizens.  The criminal appeal process is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Massachusetts.

Kathleen McCarthy has won many new trials for wrongfully convicted clients, she has had convictions vacated and had sentences reduced for clients.  She helps clients get the justice they deserve.  She represents clients in all Criminal Appeals and Post Conviction Proceedings.

Procedure For Appealing A Conviction

The Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure (3) and (4) outline the procedures that must be followed to properly appeal a criminal conviction. In a criminal case a notice of appeal must be filed in the appropriate clerk’s office within thirty days after the finding of guilty or other judgment that the defendant wants to appeal. The notice of appeal may also be filed within thirty days of the imposition of the sentence. See Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 4 (b).

In the event that this deadline is missed the rule allows for an additional thirty days from the expiration of the otherwise prescribed time limit with a showing of “excusable neglect.” A motion of this type is filed in the relevant clerk’s office and usually litigated in front of the trial judge.

Other Post-Conviction Options

In additional to filing a traditional appeal there is also an option to file a motion for a new trial pursuant to Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 30. This type of motion is often referred to as a “Motion For A New Trial.” Pursuing this type of appeal instead of the traditional appeal usually occurs when the circumstances of the case require that the appellate record be enhanced. This is often the case when the filing of affidavits is necessary to support an appellate claim. An example of this would be in a case in which a client is claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and the client must delineate the areas in which he or she believes trial counsel was not effective. In some situations, trial counsel will also submit an affidavit in support of this claim.

In short, when everything that is necessary for the appeal is not in the record an experienced attorney must consider filing a motion for a new trial. The filing of this type of motion usually stays or postpones the filing of the direct appeal. All of the grounds for the appeal do not have to be raised in the motion for new trial. In most circumstances, the motion for a new trial should be raised and a motion to stay appellate proceedings should be filed. In the event that the motion for a new trial is denied a notice of appeal must be filed. At this point, the post-conviction attorney should move to have the appeal from the denial of the motion for a new trial and the direct appeal consolidated.

How To Appeal A Plea

Defendant’s who plead guilty may also appeal their convictions. In this type of situation a Motion To Withdraw A Guilty Plea and A Motion For A New Trial are the appropriate vehicles to appeal a plea. The grounds for appealing a plea range from the plea not being entered into intelligently, knowingly and voluntarily to prosecutorial misconduct and newly discovered evidence. If you think that your plea was improperly entered you must contact a qualified criminal appellate attorney.

Appealing Sentences

The process for appealing a sentence is not the same as appealing a judgment. If you want to appeal a sentence notice must be given within ten days and this appeal and the appeal is directed to the appellate division. This division simply evaluates the sentence and not the substantive claims. The failure to exercise this option in the allowed time frame may result in the inability to appeal a sentence.

Kathleen McCarthy is an experienced criminal appeals lawyer who has fought successfully for her clients, using the appeals process to overturn convictions and reduce sentences.

Time is not on your side, so do not delay in contacting her.  Call Kathleen M. McCarthy right now at 978-975-8060 or contact us online to send an email.  

Case Results » Criminal Appeals

  • Attorney McCarthy Negotiates Dismissal Of Criminal Charge Of Operating A Motor Vehicle While Endangering The Lives And Safety Of Others December 12, 2012

    The police claimed that the car that the defendant was driving sped past their cruiser that was escorting an ambulance at a speed of over ninety miles per hour. Attorney McCarthy conducted an extensive interview with the defendant. She outlined in detail the client's impressive background and lack of criminal record to the judge and Assistant District Attorney. After hearing Attorney McCarthy's arguments, the judge agreed to dismiss the criminal offenses provided the defendant completes community service hours.

  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Litigates Motion To Dismiss Armed Career Criminal Charge And Motion To Suppress Gun And Related Evidence In Superior Court October 17, 2011

    The police responded to a report of a suspicious motor vehicle in an apartment complex. The police saw a car parked in the complex area with two males inside. Upon questioning the driver it was determined that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The officers arrested the driver and the passenger was allowed to walk to the police station to “bail him out.”

    The officers searched the car and found a gun “partially tucked” under the front passenger seat of the car and black masks in other areas of the vehicle. The passenger/client was initially charged with being an armed career criminal, possession of a firearm and improper storage of a firearm.

    Attorney McCarthy filed a number of pre-trial motions including a motion to dismiss the armed career portion of the indictment and a motion to suppress evidence. The motion to dismiss the armed career criminal portion of the indictment was allowed without a hearing.

    Relative to the motion to suppress, Attorney McCarthy established during an evidentiary hearing that the area where the car was parked was a private way and the police had no authority to tow the car. The Commonwealth unsuccessfully argued that the car was lawfully towed pursuant to the “Inventory Policy” as the car was “blocking traffic.” Due to thorough investigation Attorney McCarthy was able to establish that the area where the vehicle was parked was very wide and the car was not obstructing traffic. The Superior Court judge allowed the defendant's motion to suppress.

  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Litigates Another Motion To Suppress Gun And Ammunition October 10, 2011

    The police responded to a multi-unit building for a report of a loud party in the early morning hours of New Year's Day. Although noise was coming from more than one apartment, police officers climbed a fire escape and knocked on a side door. The uniformed officers progressed from the entry through a room and into the middle of the kitchen. While in the kitchen, one of the officers observed an individual in a bedroom leaning over. Although there were a number of people in the bedroom, the officers entered and found what they believed was a firearm tucked in the mattress. The police continued to search the apartment, which did not belong to the defendant, and found what they believed was ammunition in a closet. The defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. The defendant faced a mandatory minimum sentence of spending eighteen months in jail if convicted on the unlawful possession of a firearm charge.

    Attorney McCarthy filed a motion to suppress the gun and the ammunition. Attorney McCarthy argued that the “visitor” enjoyed an expectation of privacy as a guest in the apartment and that the police unlawfully entered and searched the bedroom and closet. Following the evidentiary hearing the Judge allowed the defendant's motion to suppress.