Appeals and Post-Conviction Motions
In a criminal case, when a case is completed with a conviction by plea trial, you generally have 30 days to notify the court and the prosecutor that you wish to appeal the conviction. Whether you are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you have right to appeal that conviction and have a higher court review the record and determine if any errors were made by the judge, prosecutor or your own lawyer. If its a felony, you may appeal to the Appellate Division where four or five judges will review your case. If it's a misdemeanor, your appeal will be heard by either the Appellate Term or the County Court Appeals Session if your case is in the Third or Fourth Judicial Departments. You may seek permission to appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals if certain criteria are met.
If you have exhausted your appellate remedies, you can still bring a post-conviction motion to vacate a conviction or sentence. There is no time limit to bring a post-conviction motion on the state level but there is a time limit (one year and 90 days from the date your appeal becomes final) if you wish to seek federal habeas corpus review of your case. The groups for post conviction motions are rather limited and primarily based on issues that occurred "outside the record" such as conduct by your attorney that may have contributed to your conviction or things that may have happened in the court room but were not reflected on the record.
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