A Verdict Doesn't Mean It's the End

Sometimes a trial ends in conviction. Sometimes a court makes a wrong legal call. And sometimes a sentence is too long.

In those situations (and many others), you have the right to appeal. New York criminal defense lawyer Harlan Protass has extensive experience in litigating appeals and other forms of post-conviction litigation. In fact, he has succeeded in having the life sentences of nine clients vacated decades after they were convicted – a rare feat that required extensive case evaluation and creative legal thinking. You too can benefit from his in-depth knowledge of appellate law and procedure. Whether you want to appeal a guilty verdict or a lengthy sentence, or want a “second look” at your case, Attorney Harlan Protass can help you.

Contact Protass Law PLLC today at 212.455.0335 to find out how we can help you.


Attorney Harlan Protass

Manhattan lawyer Harlan Protass employs his extensive background and passion to provide the best possible defense to every client - in every case.

Read Harlan's Bio

Criminal Appeals

Although you may feel that the outcome of your case was wrong or unfair, criminal appeals can only be based on legal error, such as arguments that evidence was improperly admitted or excluded, the judge gave the jury incorrect instructions, juror or prosecutorial misconduct or the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Attorney Harlan Protass will review the record of your case – from the filing of charges against you through trial and sentencing – for purposes of identifying legal error that can be presented to an appellate court in an effort at reversing your conviction or vacating your sentence. He will also keep your appeal on track – timely filing your notice of appeal (within 14 days of judgment in federal court and 30 days in New York’s courts), seeking to expand the record (if appropriate) and pushing for an aggressive appellate schedule so that your claims are heard in a timely fashion.

Press & Publications

New York Law Journal

Not Guilty? Go to Jail

Written by Harlan Protass

Attorney Harlan Protass discusses the practical application of a practice known as “acquitted conduct sentencing,” where individuals receive jail sentences based on charges that actually ended with not guilty verdicts.

Read Article

Habeas Corpus (28 U.S.C. § 2255) Proceedings

A habeas corpus proceeding brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 may be instituted if you believe that you are being held in violation of your rights under the U.S. Constitution or the laws of the United States, whether those rights were violated at trial or at sentencing.

With a habeas corpus petition, you are filing a civil action against the government, asking that the court vacate, set aside or correct your sentence because of those violations. Only those who are actually in custody may file a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition. To satisfy this “custody” requirement, a defendant must either be in prison or jail, or otherwise have his/her liberty under some other form of restraint as part of a federal sentence. Typical grounds for a habeas corpus petition include ineffective assistance of trial or appellate counsel, prosecutorial misconduct that affected a defendant’s substantial rights and violations of due process.

If you hope to seek relief through a habeas corpus proceeding, you need an attorney experienced in identifying constitutional violations and convincingly presenting them. Attorney Harlan Protass can help you to do so – He will be your voice and fight for your rights if you are wrongfully behind bars.

Special Post-Conviction Projects

If you or a loved one are currently incarcerated, and have a potentially unique issue to raise, Attorney Harlan Protass can help you through a special post-conviction project.

From the discovery of newly uncovered evidence that may establish innocence to retroactively applicable amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines – or any other unique circumstances – Harlan will take a “second look” at your case for the purpose of identifying grounds for vacating a conviction or reducing a sentence outside of normal appellate and post-conviction processes.

You deserve tenacious advocacy even if you have been convicted of a crime. If you have a post-conviction issue that has never been presented or adjudicated by any court, we can help you sharpen the issues, and potentially achieve a life-changing outcome through a special post-conviction project. Indeed, Harlan has already been successful in reducing the life sentences of nine federal defendants who thought they would never walk again as free men.

First Step Act

The newly signed First Step Act makes the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactive. This means that thousands of inmates with crack cocaine convictions, and others, may be eligible for shorter sentences. Learn more from a knowledgeable attorney who may be able to help you and your loved ones.

We Can Help You with Appeals and Post-Conviction Litigation

Those serving prison sentences, no matter how long, still have rights. If you’ve been convicted and are serving time, we can help. Contact Protass Law PLLC today at 212.455.0335 to help with your appeals and post-conviction litigation issues.

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