Our North Carolina criminal appeals attorneys and post-conviction lawyers have extensive experience defending people after they have been convicted of crimes and working to get those convictions overturned. Criminal appeals attorneys must have the necessary experience litigating cases at all stages, but must also have the time and focus required to review the full record to look for any potential avenues of attacking the conviction.
From filing and arguing direct appeals in the appellate courts, to conducting post-conviction investigations and litigating motions for appropriate relief, our lawyers know how and when to fight for a second chance for our clients. In addition to knowledge of the complex rules of appellate and post-conviction litigation, we have the passion and creativity necessary to develop compelling arguments to judges in state and federal courts.
A conviction or judgment is often the end of the legal process, but our appellate and post-conviction lawyers work very hard, depending on the circumstances of each case, to make it a new beginning.
Extensive Experience Successfully Appealing Convictions
Below are a few examples of cases in which our North Carolina criminal appeals attorneys and post-conviction lawyers have successfully challenged cases after conviction. Please note that the specific cases referenced below do not represent all of the cases Cheshire Parker Schneider has handled, and past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in future cases. Every case is unique.
- United States v. Rhynes, 196 F.3d 207 (1999), reh’g en banc, vacated in part on other grounds, 218 F.3d 310 (2000). The defendant was convicted by a general verdict conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin and sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit held that his sentence in excess of the maximum penalty for the least seriously punished offense was improper and withheld judgment, allowing the government to elect between resentencing him consistent with a marijuana conspiracy (10 years) or, if the government did not so choose, the Fourth Circuit would vacate the sentences and remand for a new trial.
- State v. Coble, 351 N.C. 448, 527 S.E.2d 45 (2000). The defendant was convicted at trial of “attempted second-degree murder” and appealed, claiming that crime of “attempted second-degree murder” did not exist under NC law. The Court of Appeals affirmed defendant’s conviction, 134 N.C. App. 607, 518 S.E.2d 251 (1999), but the NC Supreme Court accepted the case for discretionary review and reversed, holding that the crime of “attempted second-degree murder” does not exist under NC law.
- State v. Adams, 187 N.C. App. 676, 654 S.E.2d 711 (2007). The defendant was convicted at trial of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, felonious breaking or entering, first-degree sexual offense, communicating threats, and assault on a female. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that evidence was insufficient to sustain convictions of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense. The Court reasoned that the use of hands does not satisfy the element of employing or displaying a dangerous weapon required for first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense.
- State v. Ryder, 196 N.C. App. 56, 674 S.E.2d 805 (2009). The defendant was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that he was entitled to instructions on the lesser-included offenses of false imprisonment and common law robbery and awarded a new trial on the charges of robbery and kidnapping charges.
- State v. Davison, 201 N.C. App. 354, 689 S.E.2d 510 (2009), disc. rev. denied, 346 N.C. 599, 703 S.E.2d 738 (2010). The defendant was convicted, pursuant to a plea agreement, of attempted first-degree sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child, and ordered to enroll in satellite-based monitoring following release from his term of imprisonment. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by not following the procedure outlined in the statute authorizing satellite-based monitoring and also held that neither attempted first-degree sex offense nor indecent liberties with a child was an “aggravated offense” as defined by the relevant statute; Davison also established that, in determining whether an offense was an “aggravated offense,” the court may not look to the underlying factual scenario, but rather must decide based on the elements defining the particular offense.
- State v. Daniels, 203 N.C. App. 350, 691 S.E.2d 78 (2010). The defendant had been convicted of first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping, appealed and won a new sentencing proceeding. At the new sentencing hearing, the trial court to a term of 370 to 453 months on the rape conviction, which was greater than his original sentence of 307 to 378 months on the same conviction. On appeal, the Court of Appeals vacated his sentence for another new sentencing hearing, holding that he could not be re-sentenced to a more severe sentence than imposed on his original sentence.
- State v. Mann, 214 N.C. App. 155, 715 S.E.2d 213 (2011). The defendant was convicted of various sex offenses and ordered to enroll in satellite-based monitoring for life. On appeal, the Court of Appeals, relying on State v. Davison, 201 N.C. App. 354, 689 S.E.2d 510 (2009), disc. rev. denied, 346 N.C. 599, 703 S.E.2d 738 (2010), held that the trial court erred by not following the statutory procedure and by considering the underlying factual scenario instead of the elements defining the offense. The Court granted a new hearing.
- State v, Gray, 225 N.C. App. 431, 736 S.E.2d 837, disc. rev. denied, 367 N.C. 213, 747 S.E.2d 534 (2013). The defendant was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon. On appeal, the Court of Appeals awarded a new trial, holding that a presumption of prejudice arose from defense counsel’s conflict of interest.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal appeals attorney, please contact us for a consultation today.