#ABKLaw BLOG by Michael Jaccarino:  What is a Criminal Appeal, and when do I need to hire an appellate lawyer?


What is a Criminal Appeal, and when do I need to hire an appellate lawyer?

Even with the best defense, it is possible to lose your criminal case and face jail time. The justice system requires fairness and impartiality, but there are times when the system becomes compromised by misconduct, improper jury instructions, or incorrect rulings by the trial judge.  

New York allows for an individual who loses a case to file an appeal. This process asks a higher court to review the decision in place with the hopes of having it changed in the defendant’s favor.  

An individual who is convicted may file a direct appeal to the Appellate Term or the Appellate Division. If one is not successful, the next step is the New York State Court of Appeals. Though this is the highest court in the state, there is no requirement for the Court to hear a specific case. The appeals process in New York is complex, given the different courts and appeal options. But, if successful, an appeal can restore an individual’s freedom.  

Appeals are complex and their scope limited, but in some circumstances, an appeal could result in the reversal of a conviction or a lesser sentence. An error at the trial creates a ground for an appeal..  The ground must be material and preserved at trial by the trial lawyer.  Some of the most common grounds for appeal include improper exclusion or admission of evidence, incorrect jury instructions, excessive sentence, prosecutorial misconduct, or ineffective assistance of counsel.  An appellate attorney must read every word of the entire trial and complete thorough research while meeting strict deadlines.  Anyone convicted of a criminal offense should immediately contact an appellate attorney.  

At Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, our team has an expertise in criminal appeals, a complicated and often vital part of any case. A criminal appeals attorney could be your last hope for avoiding jail time, heavy fines, years of probation and much more. Our criminal appeals team operate very differently from the rest of our criminal defense and criminal trial practice. The reason for that is one of necessity. The required knowledge of criminal law is the same for every attorney practicing with us, but the procedure and strategy employed in an appeal is entirely unique. Our team is comprised of attorneys who know and understand criminal law and appeals from the inside out, including a former Appeals ADA from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, renowned appellate lawyer Barry Kamins, and John Leventhal, former Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.  Contact us to schedule a meeting anytime if you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime.


Michael Jaccarino, and the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC, have decades of experience. 

For more information or more fact-specific discussions, call our office and ask to speak with attorney Michael Jaccarino.


Our attorneys are in the New York City courthouses every day, experiencing the system in real time, and using the experiences to the benefit of our clients. Stay tuned to Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins for regular information on criminal justice, and how it could affect you or someone you know who has been arrested.

Call our office to learn more, or if you have a particular legal matter that requires immediate attention: 212-486-0011 or email us at Info@AidalaLaw.com