Criminal Appeals & Post-Conviction Proceedings

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203-772-3100

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Our office has broad experience in representing criminal defendants after conviction, whether by plea agreement or after trial. Our criminal defense lawyers represent those convicted of crimes both in the appellate courts and at sentencing, before or after appeal.

Persons convicted of crimes are entitled to appeal their convictions. We have a long history of effective representation of criminal defendants on appeal in both state and federal courts. We handle appeals from cases we try, and we write appeals for clients who were represented by others at trial. The appellate process involves review of pretrial proceedings and trial transcript to identify legal issues and judicial errors that may present viable grounds for appeal, and the effective briefing and oral argument of these issues. These include issues affecting the defendant's Constitutional rights. A successful appeal may result in reversal of conviction, sometimes a new trial or resentencing, or possibly a judgment of acquittal. The process of litigating the appeal can delay the start of a prison sentence. Appellate litigation may also present an additional opportunity to negotiate a favorable disposition of the case by agreement.

For clients at sentencing, we work to minimize the sentence by presenting the defendant's best case for eliminating or reducing the period of incarceration, the fine, or both. We obtain and present evidence (including evidence of the client's good character, and other relevant personal and family circumstances). We work to avoid any incarceration, or if that is impossible, to minimize the sentence imposed. Working with experts in the field we can offer the sentencing judge appropriate alternatives to traditional prison sentences. For clients who must serve time, we attempt to obtain confinement in less restrictive correctional institutions, and to avoid the dislocating effect on the client's family of having a loved one serve a sentence in a distant place. We try to structure the payment of fines and restitution orders to accommodate the client's financial realities, as well as the legal realities of his situation. While the client is serving the sentence we remain available to assist with any serious problems that may arise during incarceration. We also represent inmates who suffer significant deprivation of Constitutional rights while in prison.

Defendants facing conviction under federal laws must generally be sentenced pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a complex regulatory system which considers both the characteristics of the offender ("Criminal History") and the severity of the crime (the "Offense Level") in determining the length of incarceration and the size of the fine (the "Guidelines Range."). The Guidelines also provide regulatory bases for reducing the range, which can shorten the sentence and even lead to house-arrest or no incarceration. Our lawyers have worked extensively with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to obtain more lenient treatment for convicted defendants. Under the Federal law it is possible to appeal a sentence by claiming a judicial error in the application of guidelines and we have handled these very technical appeals.

Licensed professionals convicted of crimes often face regulatory consequences that can severely impact the ability to continue or resume professional practice. We have represented convicted professionals in disciplinary and license-suspension proceedings, and in defense of related civil litigation and disputes with their insurers. Again, we work to minimize the consequences of conviction and to provide acceptable alternatives to longer or more severe sanctions. Although "corporations don't go to prison" the same general principals inform our work on behalf of corporations convicted of crime, and exposed to large fines and regulatory sanctions.

Lawyers involved in representing defendants in post conviction proceedings include Richard Emanuel, Ira B.Grudberg, William F.Dow III, and Rosemarie Paine. For a list of our criminal appeals see the list of reported cases under "Appeals" on this website.