Appeals are probably the most complicated area of the law. A criminal appeal takes place after someone has been convicted of a crime at trial.
After an OUI conviction or finding of guilty, you have 30 days under Mass law to file a notice of appeal.
The grounds for an appeal are technical in nature, the fact that your were innocent and convicted are not grounds for an appeal.
The most common basis for an appeal is that the judge made an error in a ruling that hurt your case. This can include, erroneous trial instructions, improper admission of evidence, erroneous rulings on pretrial motions, discovery requests, and sentencing errors.
Less common is that your attorney or the prosecutor made mistakes that made the trial unfair.
The clock starts to tick on an appeal as soon as the trial is over, and there are some deadlines that have to be followed. For that reason, it makes sense to speak to a lawyer about a Massachusetts criminal appeal soon after the trial to decide what to do. After the notice of appeal has been filed, your attorney has to order a transcript of the trial and pretrial proceedings in the case.
Once your lawyer has the transcripts, then he can look at the transcripts to determine what errors occurred during the trial.
Remember, even if you win your appeal, all you have is the opportunity for a new trial. It is not an automatic not guilty.
If you have any questions about an appeal, call Attorney Matson and he will refer you to an attorney who concentrates his practice in that area.
Call Russell Matson’s cell phone 24 hours at (781) 380-7730.