State Court System
New York State Court System
If you are facing the prospect of getting involved with the New York State court system, then it’s possible that you’re dealing with the challenge of being accused of a crime. If this is the case, the first step you should take is to contact a criminal defense attorney to help you through this process, as you have a lot on the line.
You should also gain some familiarity with the structure of the New York State court system and how it works, as it’s generally known that the more you understand about this process ahead of time, the less stressful the experience may turn out to be for you. Below is a brief overview of this system, and in order to begin the process of building a strong criminal defense, contact a criminal defense attorney at the New York offices of the Blanch Law Firm as soon as possible.
The Lowest Level
Unlike any other state in the country, the lowest level of criminal courts in New York is known as the Supreme Court. Usually, this is the name associated with the highest court in the jurisdiction, but New York is unique in this regard. New York has a courthouse and judges assigned to each of New York’s 62 counties, although some of the more rural areas tend to share judges and other personnel.
If you have been accused of a crime that is a felony and that case proceeds to trial, you will appear at the Supreme Court nearest where you allegedly committed the crime, unless your criminal defense attorney successfully moves for a change of venue. A change of venue can be won if your attorney successfully argues that it would be impossible to have a fair trial in the current jurisdiction, and that decision is usually up to the judge’s discretion.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, it’s possible that you could appear in “County” courts or “District” courts, but the procedures associated with these entities is largely the same as those that are followed in any New York Supreme Court.
The Next Level
If you are convicted at the lowest court level and you file an appeal of this conviction, the next court you will likely appear in are known as the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court for felonies or the Appellate Terms of the Supreme Court for non-felonies. In this context, your argument will be limited to the issues raised on appeal, for example an improper evidentiary ruling.
If your appeal is denied and not remanded to the original court for a new trial, you can pursue your appeal to the highest court in New York, which is known as the Court of Appeals. Again, this is unique from any other jurisdiction, but a case that appears before the Court of Appeals is basically your last chance to have your case heard in state court.
Generally, the process of appealing a conviction can take several years, and your best course of action is to do everything within your power to prevent the need to spend years in the New York State court system. Contact the Blanch Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney to get the process of building your defense started.
For Federal court system information, click here.