Criminal Appeals

Andrew and Cynthia MacDonald also represent clients for criminal appeals and post-conviction petitions. If you were convicted in the District Court of Maryland you have the right to appeal that conviction within 30 days. Upon appeal, the district court case will go to the circuit court for a trial de novo (new trial). You get a do-over and start with a clean slate.

If you are sentenced to jail time in the district court you should attempt to convince the district court judge to give you an appeal bond so you can get out of jail pending your appeal.

If you are convicted in the circuit court, you have 30 days to file an appeal to the Court of Special Appeals. In addition, if you are convicted and serving a prison sentence you may have the right to file a petition for post-conviction relief even if you were unsuccessful on your appeal or the time period for filing an appeal has expired.

A post-conviction petition can be used to reverse a conviction on the grounds that your fundamental constitutional rights were violated during the prosecution of your case. Common grounds for post-conviction relief are incompetent representation by a defense attorney or prosecutorial misconduct.

Finally, if you are not currently serving a prison sentence, you may be able to challenge a criminal conviction in a Coram Nobis petition. A conviction can be reversed under Coram Nobis if your fundamental constitutional rights were violated during the prosecution of your case and you are suffering indirect prejudice as a result of the conviction.

For example, non-U.S. citizens facing adverse immigration consequences as a result of a criminal conviction may use Coram Nobis to challenge an old criminal conviction. Grounds for Coram Nobis relief include an involuntary guilty plea, failure to provide an interpreter, incompetent trial attorney, and prosecutorial misconduct.

The MacDonald Law Office, LLC, has successfully represented clients in Coram Nobis petitions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.