Appeals in criminal cases can be quite complicated and usually involve a tremendous amount of legal work. The best time to consult an appellate attorney is immediately after a verdict of guilt or guilty plea and prior to the imposition of sentence. At this stage , counsel can review the prior proceedings and consider the filing a motion to set aside the verdict or to withdraw a guilty plea (governed by Article 330 of the Criminal Procedure Law) .
How Can You Appeal Your Criminal Conviction?
Additionally, counsel can be very effective in representing a client at the time of sentencing by means of possibly engaging in last minute negotiations and/or submitting a pre-sentence memorandum detailing a clients background , the effects and collateral consequences of the criminal conviction upon him or her as well as their family , mitigating circumstances as well as other factors for favorable consideration by the sentencing court .
Preliminarily , and foremost in approaching any appeal is the assessment of whether or not the client (who is facing a jail sentence or has been sentenced to a term of incarceration) is eligible for release on bail pending appeal . This involves a written application or motion to the trial or appellate court detailing the potential merits of the appeal (likelihood of success) and lack of bail risk that the client poses .
A notice of appeal needs to be served and filed within 30 days from the date of sentence . Thereafter , the appeal needs to be perfected which involves counsel obtaining and reviewing the complete file and minutes of the initial proceedings in the trial court , researching potential applicable legal precedents and the drafting , serving and filing of an appellate brief detailing the underlying facts and legal arguments . The ultimate goal is the reversal , or at the very least , a modification or reduction of the conviction or sentence .
Victor Knapp , Esq. , has a great deal of experience in handling both civil and criminal appeals . Some of his appeals have been well publicized and precedent setting in the areas of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) [ People v. Mertz , N.Y. Court of Appeals , 1986 (which reversed a trial conviction and interpreted the N.Y. statutes involving the weight to be given to blood alcohol test results and the admissibility of documents as part of the prosecution’s case ) ] ; and Parole Revocations [ People ex rel Reginald Robertson v. N.Y.S Division of Parole , N.Y. Court of Appeals , 1986 ( re-affirming the requirement that factual issues raised in habeas corpus proceedings are to be decided by the Courts and not the Division of Parole)] .
Victor Knapp in an Attorney with Successful Criminal Appeals Experience
While not directly involved in the appeal of the convictions in the Howard Beach II trial , the appellate court did reverse the convictions of the co-defendants based upon two objections made by Victor Knapp , Esq. , at the trial level on behalf of his client .
Again , the appellate process ( just like the trial of a criminal case) , can be time consuming and complicated and is best started as soon as a conviction occurs. Victor Knapp, Esq. is very experienced in handling both trials and appeals and is available for either an assessment or representation on these levels .
 The Mertz case has been extensively cited by courts throughout the United States for the proposition that BAC test results are not dis-positive of a drivers blood alcohol level at the time of the operation of the motor vehicle and / or arrest . At trial , Victor Knapp , through the retention and trial testimony of an expert witness and cross-examination developed what was later dubbed the Bacon-Cheeseburger defense which was held to be a proper legal defense to the charges by New York’s highest court .  Victor Knapps client was acquitted of all charges at trial , thus obviating the need of Victor Knapp to be directly involved in any appeal .