POST CONVICTION RELIEF, APPEALS, HABEAS CORPUS
MICHIGAN CRIMINAL APPEALS LAWYERS
Experienced, Knowledgeable, and Assertive


 



If you have been convicted of or plead guilty to a state or federal crime anywhere in Michigan, contact the criminal appeal attorneys at Czarnecki & Taylor to discuss appealing your conviction, challenging your sentence, or moving to set aside your guilty plea.  Whether you have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, in federal or state court, by a plea or by trial, it is important to understand that you have different appellate options.  We have extensive knowledge and experience in the procedures of litigation in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Federal Circuit Courts.

There is no doubt, you, your family, and your friends are devastated by your conviction. However, we would like to have the opportunity to explain to you that a criminal conviction at trial or guilty plea does not need to be the end of your legal battle.  
When someone you know is convicted of a crime, it may seem as if there is no hope.  People believe there is nothing else that can be done to protect them from prison, fines, and a criminal record. Our experienced attorneys will do everything possible to assist you in your appellate case.  We can utilize our extensive experience to assist you throughout your post-conviction process. Appeals are extremely difficult, time-consuming, and require the representation of a knowledgeable lawyer throughout the process. Our attorneys will thoroughly review the details of your case to identify any issues that could be grounds for appeal and reverse the conviction or sentence.  We will write detailed and compelling briefs that persuasively argue your case in appellate court.  We will appear in the appellate courts to argue your case. Czarnecki & Taylor is here to fight for you and help you or your loved one appeal a conviction in Michigan.


WHY HIRE AN APPELLATE LAWYER?

A criminal defense attorney who handles appeals must know the intricacies of procedural and substantive criminal law, in order to be successful. Knowing the law, however, is only the first responsibility.  The attorney must also be able to effectively and passionately communicate the issues on appeal clearly in writing and in the Court of Appeals during oral argument, if necessary, and withstand the tough questions that occur come at oral argument.


An appellate attorney's role on an appeal requires that the attorney study the “record” in a criminal case. The record consists of everything that happened in the lower court.  The investigation would including reviewing copies of all pleadings and motions, and transcripts from the most important hearings or the trial itself.  Studying and analyzing the record is a very time-consuming effort that requires careful study.  We look for an error in the lower court that would entitle the client to relief.  Relief can take form of an overturned conviction, a new trial or reduced sentencing.  

At our firm, we take pride in being appellate lawyers.  This means we look forward to doing the difficult job of studying a case and developing  arguments that will help our clients win in the appellate courts. We take pride in defending people who hope to overturn an unjust conviction.


Services that we can provide:


  • ​Criminal Appeals - Appeal by Right or Application for Leave to Appeal
  • Motions for New Trial
  • Motion for Newly discovered evidence
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Writs of Habeas Corpus to federal court
  • Misdemeanor Appeals
  • Ginther Hearing to challenge trial lawyer work under the Sixth Amendment right to effective representation
  • 6.500 Motions (Motions for Relief from Judgment)
  • Appeal a sentence that was too harsh
  • Interlocutory Appeals
  • Court of Appeals Motion Practice
  • Motions to modify/reduce sentence
  • Motions to terminate probation



We have extensive experience appealing wrongful convictions, inappropriately harsh sentences, and improper guilty pleas. Through the criminal appeals process, we are prepared to attack the legal issues of your case. As we are trial lawyers ourselves, we are prepared to identify what went wrong in your original trial.  We have the experience of both worlds in that we know how to identify legal issues of error.  The following are just some examples of some of our successes:

 

  • Overturned a 4 count first-degree criminal sexual conduct case - prevailed in the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Cour​t
    • Conducted evidentiary hearing to challenge the trial attorneys' representation as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment 
    • Client received a new trial

 

  • Overturned a multi-state drug operation conviction where I researched, drafted and wrote the appeal where my client had been sentenced to 20 years in prison based upon perjured testimony from the prosecution's witness and knowingly and illegally concealed by the trial court judge, police and prosecutor.  This resulted in the following:
    • conviction overturned
    • ​the judge had been removed from Frank Murphy and is no longer a judge
    • prosecutor was fired from Wayne County and was convicted of a crime
    • the police officers lost their jobs and were convicted of a crime
    • client received a new pretrial and only and agreed to a 4 year sentence reduced from 20

 

  • Overturned 3 Assault With a Dangerous Weapons convictions in the Michigan Court of Appeals

 

  • Overturned a first-degree murder conviction after an evidentiary hearing in the trial court where we challenged the trial attorney's representation under the Sixth Amendment in Wayne County
    • trial court granted my client a new trial

 

  • Overturned sentences due to improper scoring of sentencing variables
    • cases had to be remanded for new sentencing

 

  • Appealed legal issues and convictions from district court to County Circuit Courts
    • legal rulings by the lower court were overturned

 

  • Investigated, discovered a new issue and filed a 6.500 motion in the Wayne County Circuit Court to challenge a wrongful conviction for a first-degree murder charge 10 years later - started the appeals process again because his attorneys made mistakes
    • case ongoing
    • pro bono

 

  • Part of an ACLU criminal team that had the Michigan Supreme Court issue an order forcing a Kent County Judge to appoint indigent defendants' appellate counsel in accordance with United States Supreme Court precedent in Halbert
    • Kent county judge ordered to follow the law

 

  • Prevailed at Ginther hearings challenging attorney representation under the Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel
    • ​new trials granted

 

  • Handled appeals for the Wayne County Prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney
    • won all 19 cases before becoming a defense attorney

 

  • Worked as an attorney for 2 law firms doing criminal appeals before staring my practice

 

  • Hired by other attorneys to do their legal research and writing of the appellate briefs due to ability to spot issues, present them to the courts
    • ​argued the cases in the Court of Appeals for other attorneys

 

  • Numerous appearances for oral argument in the Michigan Court of Appeals


  • Successfully filed motions in the trial court to modify or reduce sentences


  • Successfully filed in the trial court to terminate probation

 

We investigate our clients' case more thoroughly; we argue on your behalf more persuasively and passionately. Above all, no criminal appeals advocate is more available to you and your concerns than our firm. Our aggressive nature, diligent and thorough preparation and 24/7 accessibility will give you the confidence you need to go on. We are aggressive and take on all issues.


THE APPEAL PROCESS


​While appellate attorneys can do many things to assist after a conviction, it is important to understand the appellate court's role in the judicial system.  Appellate courts are error correcting courts.  Appellate courts do not determine guilt or innocence in a case by reexamining or weighing the evidence like a second jury. The courts do not assess the credibility of witnesses. Appellate courts do not like to second-guess judge or jury verdicts.  An appeal in a criminal case is based on an error of law.  The errors that can occur during a trial can be numerous.  The following are examples:


  • evidence was not properly admitted
  • an attorney was ineffective under the Sixth Amendment -numerous subissues
  • the court did not instruct the jury properly, 
  • prosecutorial misconduct -numerous subissues
  • Batson issues
  • ​illegal search and seizure
  • constitutional rights
  • confidential informant
  • discovery issues
  • double jeopardy
  • hearsay
  • expert issues
  • eyewitness identification
  • coerced confessions - Fifth Amendment
  • insufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction
  • insanity/incompetency
  • improper sentence
  • involuntary pleas
  • mistrials
  • judical bias

 

The preceding is a brief summary of possible issues as there are many more that an experienced appellate attorney can identify. If there is an issue we will identify it, research it, brief it an argue it.  What follows is an overview of the appellate procedures that may be used to seek post-conviction relief.  


Appeal of Right after Jury Trial

 

If  you went to a jury trial and lost, you will have an automatic appeal  as of right.  This means that the Michigan Court of Appeals must hear and decide your case.  

 

Application for Leave to Appeal

 

This means that if your plea was the result of a plea based conviction, the Michigan Court of Appeals must decide to hear your case.  The court may decline to hear the case without reaching the merits of your argument.

 

Motion for Relief from Judgment, MCR 6.500

 

This is a motion that can be filed in the trial court to restart your appeal process even if you had a previous appeal.  There are several procedural hurdles that must be overcome to pursue this avenue of post-conviction of relief.  6.500 motions, are known as “motions for relief from judgment.”   6.500 motions allow a defendant to challenge their conviction for  legal reasons that had not been previously raised in an appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

6.500 motions  required experienced attorney management because A 6.500 motion can only be filed once.  This means that it must be prepared carefully because this is often the very last chance at an appeal process. There are no second chances when it comes to 6.500 motions.  That is why it is extremely important to have an attorney who is familiar and experienced in appellate law to draft a well written and researched brief that protects your last chance.

 

Habeas Corpus Writs

A very important part of the appeals process is a Habeas Corpus proceeding. “Habeas corpus” is a Latin phrase meaning “bring the body,” which we translate to mean bring our clients home. As criminal appeals attorneys, we file writs of habeas corpus to challenge all improper actions at criminal trial in the state courts. We can frequently demonstrate that evidence used at trial, such as prejudicial statements or evidence gained during an illegal traffic stop or illegal search, should have been suppressed – or that evidence favorable to your defense was wrongly excluded.

In Michigan, Habeas corpus writs are an important way to get to the Federal Courts to reverse a state conviction.  We can only pursue a writ only after we have challenged your case through the Michigan Supreme Court.  Also, it is very important that an attorney "federalize" (argue federal law) during your appeal so that the pathway to the federal court is open.  Federal courts will only decide state interpretations of federal law.   

Motions for New Trial

After a jury has found a person guilty and before sentencing, a motion for a new trial can be made. Don’t miss that opportunity. Call us to ask the court to start over again.

Misdemeanor Appeals

Often people are wrongfully convicted of misdemeanors such as drunk driving, indecent exposure, domestic violence or assault and battery. What most people, even many attorneys and judges, do not realize is that the simple act of filing a notice of appeal in a misdemeanor case puts an immediate stop on any jail, fine or probation. All aspects of sentencing await the decision on your appeal. We can help you with your misdemeanor appeal.

 

Motion for Newly Discovered Evidence

If evidence comes to light that was not previously available or discovered at your original trial, and this evidence could have made a difference in your case, we can present a motion for newly discovered evidence in the trial court.

 

All Courts: State and Federal

Our criminal appeals experience includes appeals handled through the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

 

It is my practice to meet and personally discuss the issues with the clients or their families.  

To schedule a free consultation with a confident Michigan criminal appeals lawyer about your options after a guilty plea or criminal conviction, contact our office today.

Call us for a free consultation 24-7 (586) 718-2345

Weekend and Evening Appointments/Reasonable Fees/Payment Plans

The Law Offices of 

Czarnecki & Taylor PLLC

 

At CZARNECKI & TAYLOR, we take the time to listen, to find the right answers and provide the best care and representation.

FREE CONSULTATIONS.            Call (586) 718-2345    24/7


Weekend and Evening Appointments Available.