Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief

You may have lost your criminal case at trial, but that does not mean you are out of options.  In North Carolina, every criminal defendant has the right to appeal a conviction to either the North Carolina Court of Appeals or the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  For some, relief may also be obtained through Motions for Appropriate Relief or Petitions for Habeas Corpus.  But the rules for such relief are complicated, the issues are often challenging, and prevailing is generally difficult. 

The attorneys at Patterson Harkavy have decades of experience successfully pursuing criminal appeals and post-conviction relief.   We have represented criminal defendants across North Carolina, successfully obtaining orders that vacate criminal convictions, suppress evidence, and reduce sentences.    

Unlike many firms, our appellate attorneys regularly pursue both criminal and civil appeals.  Our appellate record includes not only victories for criminal defendants, but also landmark decisions from the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in civil disputes.  We are often hired by other civil attorneys to assist them with their own appeals.  If you are interested in hiring us to litigate your own criminal appeal, contact us today.

The firm handles criminal appeals by charging an initial fee for a thorough review of the record.  This review allows us to determine if your case contains issues meritorious enough to warrant representation for the full appeal.  Following a conviction, time is often of the essence to ensure your rights are preserved.  Contact us today to discuss your case. 

Decades of Experience in Your Corner

The following cases are examples of our attorneys’ successes advocating for clients on direct appeal and in other post-conviction proceedings.  Every case is different, no outcome is ever guaranteed, and the results for these clients do not guarantee similar results for other clients.

State v. Gregory, 342 N.C. 580 (1996).  A criminal defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.  On direct appeal, we obtained a ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court finding that a conversation between the sentencing judge and a juror denied the defendant his right to a fair trial. The Court awarded the defendant a new trial.

State v. White, 135 N.C. App. 349 (1999). A thirteen-year old child was convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to up to twenty years in prison. The North Carolina Court of Appeals vacated the conviction, finding that the trial court erroneously permitted the introduction of allegations of another offense.

Conaway v. Polk, 453 F.3d 567 (4th Cir. 2006).  After the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed a criminal defendant’s death sentence, and a federal trial court denied the defendant’s petition for habeas corpus, we represented the defendant on appeal of the habeas ruling before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.   The Fourth Circuit ordered that the district court hold a hearing over claims of juror bias, with the defendant ultimately obtaining a new trial.    

State v. Everrette, 807 S.E.2d 168 (2017).  A criminal defendant was convicted of obtaining property by false pretenses.  On direct appeal, we obtained a ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals that vacated the convictions based on fatal flaws in the criminal indictments.  

State v. Stanley, 817 S.E.2d 107 (2018).  A criminal defendant was convicted of narcotics offenses after the trial court denied his motion to suppress evidence.  We obtained a ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals finding that investigating officers violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.  The Court suppressed all relevant evidence and vacated the defendant’s criminal convictions.   

State v. Ferrer, 818 S.E.2d 697 (2018).  A criminal defendant was convicted of insurance fraud.  We obtained a ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals that vacated the conviction after finding it was not supported by sufficient evidence.