Appealing Issues in a New York Criminal Case

Filing an appeal is one of the most critical steps in a New York criminal defendant’s attempt to avoid serious penalties and incarceration. In most instances, an appeal follows a trial and sentencing. New York appeals generally involve a defendant making a pleading to the appellate court to issue a motion for retrial, resentencing, or overturning a ruling. New York criminal defendants do not possess the same rights during appeals as they do at trial. As such, criminal defendants should consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to develop the best course of action.

In most cases, New York criminal defendants appeal their cases based on more than one issue. Appeals may stem from improper police investigations, incorrect legal decisions, or other constitutional claims. Multiple appeal issues often present complicated statutory and procedural issues. In these cases, courts may wholly affirm the trial court’s ruling, partially affirm, or entirely overturn the lower court’s ruling.

For instance, a New York criminal defendant recently appealed a judgment from a trial court where he was convicted of two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of attempted murder in the second degree, three counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, attempted assault, and seven counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. The case arose from incidents over a two-month span where two men were killed, and three others suffered injuries. The court affirmed the majority of the trial court’s ruling but partially agreed with the defendant’s assertions regarding the admissibility of his statements to the police.

The defendant argued that the statements he made after he invoked his right to remain silent should have been suppressed. Under the law, police must terminate questioning when a defendant makes an unequivocal and unqualified assertion of his right to remain silent. Inquiries regarding whether a defendant’s request was “unequivocal” require the court to review the totality of the circumstances. Some factors include the defendant’s manner of expression and demeanor at the time he made the statements in question.

In this case, the record indicates that the defendant told the police three times that he did not want to speak with them. The appeals court agreed with the trial court’s determination that the defendant did not unequivocally invoke his rights in the first instances of communication. However, they found that the court was required to suppress the defendant’s statements after invoking his right the second time. However, ultimately, the court concluded that the error in failing to suppress the statement was harmless because there was overwhelming proof of guilt.

Have You Been Arrested for a New York Criminal Offense?

If you face New York criminal charges, contact The Law Office of Mark A. Siesel. Our experienced attorneys have a long history of successfully representing the rights of those New Yorkers accused of criminal offenses. We handle criminal cases stemming from New York DWIs, homicides, assaults, battery, theft offenses, domestic violence, and sex offenses. We strongly believe that New York defendants deserve the best representation during all parts of their criminal proceedings. Contact our office at (914) 428-7386 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our legal team.