Criminal Appeal Law

Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Lawyers.

Criminal Appeal Law

intro criminal appeal video

If you’re reading this, it probably means you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime. You’re looking for an attorney who’s experienced in criminal appeal law.

Not only are you dealing with an unfair trial and a wrongful conviction, but maybe you’re also concerned about what’s going to happen in prison. Prison’s a dangerous place and anything could happen. In November 2020, the US Department of Justice concluded that conditions in Massachusetts prisons were so bad that inmates were harming or killing themselves. The Department of Justice has also documented sexual violence in prisons.

You’ve come to the right place. Bates & Riordan, LLP focuses on criminal appeal law. We’ve handled almost every kind of criminal appeal.  Everything from simple misdemeanors to first degree murder convictions (M1).  Check our cases on the court’s publicly accessible docket. See us in actual court hearings on our Courtroom TV page.

The “Direct” Criminal Appeal

In a direct criminal appeal, a defendant is showing an appellate court in Boston that he or she did not receive a fair trial. When we appeal a case, we look for every possible legal issue.  We argue mistakes made by the judge, the prosecutor, and even your own trial lawyer.

Our Process

  1. We talk with you about any concerns you may have about your case.
  2. We talk with your trial attorney about your entire case, from arraignment to trial.
  3. We review your trial attorney’s file, the court file, the transcripts, and perform an investigation as needed.
  4. We research the latest developments in the law on the appellate issues we discovered.
  5. We meet with you and jointly develop a strategy for the appeal. As experienced criminal appeal lawyers, we almost always identify at least one appellate issue. It’s pretty rare that a case that every single motion was decided correctly and that the case was tried perfectly.
  6. Finally, we write a convincing legal argument (called a “brief”), explaining why you were wrongfully convicted or why you are entitled to other relief. The client always has final say on what is filed in court.
  7. After the Commonwealth files its brief we then “argue” your criminal appeal to a panel of appellate court judges in Boston.

Get Help

With Your Criminal Appeal.

What’s a Post-Conviction Motion?

A post-conviction motion is typically a Rule 30 Motion for New Trial, or a Rule 29 Motion to Revise and Revoke. In a motion for new trial, a defendant is going back to the trial judge to ask for a new trial (or to withdraw a guilty plea) in the interests of justice.

In a Motion to Revise and Revoke, a defendant is just asking the judge to change the sentence.

If either of these motions is denied, a defendant can appeal to an appellate court.  A Superior Court sentence can also be challenged in a sentencing appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

Client's Testimonial

I just want to say thank you; my family and I really appreciate the time and dedication you’re putting into my case; I am grateful beyond words and can’t emphasize enough how much I am in debt to you. My last lawyer seemed to give up towards the end of my trial, but you seem like a whole other caliber in comparison. – Jose