Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Attorney
Attorney William Driscoll is passionate about the protection of individual rights. He represents clients convicted of any criminal charge, including simple assault, gun or drug offenses, rape, arson, manslaughter or murder. Attorney Driscoll represents clients before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. When appropriate, he pursues justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Commonwealth is a very worthy adversary, but overturning a verdict is possible. Experienced appellate counsel understands how appellate judges think. Only expertly crafted legal arguments and crisp oral presentations are capable of swaying appellate judges. Attorney Driscoll represents clients throughout Massachusetts, from the Boston to the Berkshires. Appellate deadlines are short.
Call 978-846-5184 before your rights disappear.
An interlocutory appeal challenges a provisional trial court decision, such as a motion to suppress evidence. No right to interlocutory appeal exists. When permission is granted, the case enters the appellate court.
Interlocutory appeals are resolved in the state appellate courts, the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. There is no avenue for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Every defendant has the right to appeal a criminal conviction by what is called a direct appeal. A direct appeal can challenge any aspect of the case, from initial police investigation through conviction.
Direct appeals are resolved in the state appellate courts and must be pursued to the state's highest appellate court before seeking federal court relief (e.g., habeas corpus relief, certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court).
New Trial Motion
A motion for a new trial seeks to remedy the situation where justice may not have been done in the trial court. The motion begins in the trial court and may be appealed if necessary. There is no filing time limit, but claims not raised in the first motion might be waived.
Waiver does not apply to issues that could not have been raised earlier (e.g., newly discovered evidence that might have affected the jury's verdict). A new trial motion is also the avenue for seeking the withdrawal of a guilty plea.
A collateral appeal challenges the denial of a post-conviction action (e.g., motion for a new trial). What makes it "collateral" is that it challenges an action that is not consolidated with the direct appeal from a guilty plea or a criminal conviction.
Collateral appeals are resolved in the state appellate courts and must be pursued to the state's highest appellate court before seeking federal court relief (e.g., habeas corpus relief, certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court).
Recent Noteworthy Criminal Appeal Results
Massachusetts Appeals Court
The defendant was convicted of felony larceny by single scheme, that he intended to defraud the alleged victim through a contract made under false pretenses. On appeal, the conviction was reversed, the verdict set aside and a judgment entered for Attorney Driscoll's client. The evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to defraud his alleged victim at the time the contract was executed. Notably, the defendant started performance under the contract and the the alleged victim secured a no contact/stay away order that prevented the defendant's further performance under the contract. This case echoed that where there is no criminal intent present at the inception of the contract the matter is civil, not criminal.
Massachusetts Appeals Court
The defendant was convicted of breaking and entering with felonious larceny. On appeal, the judgments were reversed, the verdicts set aside, and judgments entered in favor of Attorney Driscoll's client. The only evidence implicating the defendant was a cigarette butt with his DNA impressed, which suggested that he smoked the cigarette at one time. But it did not exclude the equally reasonable hypothesis that he smoked the cigarette at an earlier time and someone else transported the cigarette butt to the scene – either intentionally or accidentally. The evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was both present at the scene of the crime and at the time of the crime.
Contact Appellate Attorney William Driscoll at 978-846-5184 before your rights disappear. Attorney Driscoll pursues appellate rights in the Massachusetts appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.