Any defendant convicted of a drinking and driving offense at trial has the right to appeal the conviction, the sentence or both.
Anyone considering doing so, however, may wish to consult with an experienced Buffalo DWI lawyer to determine the likelihood of an appeal being successful.
It is unusual for the ruling of a trial court in a DWI case to be overturned on appeal, but there are cases where the trial court either made some legal error or so clearly abused its discretion that an appeal may be warranted.
Most first time offenders will be charged with misdemeanor level offenses such as Driving While Intoxicated or Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater.
These cases are almost always tried in a local town, village or city court.
If a defendant wishes to appeal the conviction or sentence of this local court, the appeal will be heard in the county court of the county where the conviction occurred.
This means that, for example, a conviction for misdemeanor DWI in Buffalo City Court may be appealed to the Erie County Court.
For repeat offenders charged with felony level drinking and driving offenses, any trial will usually take place in the county court of the county where the offense occurred.
If the defendant wishes to appeal a conviction or sentence that took place in a county court, the appeal will be heard in the appellate division court in the department having jurisdiction over the location where the conviction took place.
New York State is divided into four departments for this purpose.
All of the Western New York counties are located in the Appellate Division for the Fourth Department, and this is the court that will hear most appeals from a county court decision.
If you have been arrested for drinking and driving and have any questions about the legal process, we can help you.
Please feel free to call us at 585-484-7432.