Ms. Gabbara has argued before the Michigan Court of Appeals. If you are convicted at a trial, you have a right to appeal your conviction and sentence. Rules for state appeals require that a claim of appeal, where there is a right to appeal, be filed within 42 days after your sentence. If you are appealing after a guilty plea, or in another circumstance where you do not have a right to have your case heard by the court of appeals, you may apply to the court to have your case heard by filing an application for leave to appeal within 21 days from your sentence. You may file a late application for leave to appeal within six months of your sentence, where you have to appeal by seeking leave, or where you miss the 42-day filing deadline.
If you lose your case in the Michigan Court of Appeals, you can ask the Michigan Supreme Court to hear your case. No one has a right to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Court only hears cases that it wants to hear.
Aside from a direct appeal of your criminal conviction, there is a right to attack your conviction at any time after your sentence with a motion to set aside your judgment of conviction under Michigan Court Rule 6.508, commonly called a “6.500 motion.” If there is new evidence, or a new rule of law applicable to your case, you can go back to the trial court to file a 6.500 motion, and if unsuccessful before the trial court, appeal the denial of your motion again to the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. There is no right to appeal a denial of a 6.500 motion to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, but you have a right to ask the court to review your case. You may only file one motion under 6.500, except in special circumstances.
WARNING: Both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court are not friendly to criminal defendants appealing their convictions. Seldom do defendants secure a reversal of their convictions in the Court of Appeals, and often when they do secure a reversal of their convictions, the Supreme Court grants leave to the prosecutor and reinstates the criminal conviction. 6.500 motions are seldom granted, and sometimes when the trial court grants the motion, the Court of Appeals reverses the trial court and reinstates the conviction. If you come to us for an appeal or a 6.500 motion, we will counsel you on the wisdom of spending your money on an appeal and a 6.500 motion with a realistic assessment of your chances. Be careful of lawyers who are eager to take your appeals, or to file a 6.500 motion, and do not warn you that the odds are against you. Sometimes, although we can predict that you will likely not win your appeal in the state court system, filing the appeal is important because it will allow you to seek relief in federal court pursuant to a filing for a writ of habeas corpus.