Any defendant who has been convicted at a trial has the right to appeal. The rules for appeals are stated in the New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules. For class A misdemeanor case a defendant who loses a trial in a District Court will have a right to a second trial in the Superior Court in front of a jury. If the defendant loses the jury trial he can appeal rulings of law to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
For class B misdemeanors and violation level offenses a defendant will have the right of a trial in the District Court and an appeal of issues of law to the Supreme Court. There is no right to a jury trial.
Appeals of a ruling by a Family Division Court could be to either the Superior Court or the Supreme Court depending on the issue.
Appeals are generally based on rulings of law that were first brought to the attention of the trial judge by the lawyers. This is concept known as preservation and it is important because if the trial lawyer did not bring an issue up to the trial judge, that issue will rarely be reviewed by an Appellate Court.
In addition to appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, if the defendant contends that the state courts have ignored or violated the United States Constitution, he can make a further appeal to the Federal Courts with an ultimate appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Cohen & Winters regularly appear in both State and Federal Courts.
The criminal defense lawyers of Cohen & Winter can help if you’ve been convicted at trial. You have the right to appeal — contact us today for a free consultation of your case.