Appealing a Federal Criminal Conviction

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If you have been convicted of a federal crime, you may wish to appeal your conviction and/or your sentence. Perhaps you believe that the law was not correctly applied or that your case was not appropriately presented. These are valid reasons for an appeal, but you will likely need a lawyer to take these complaints and present them as errors that must be corrected by a reviewing court.

The Clock Is Ticking

Perhaps the most fundamental part of an appeal is filing a notice of appeal before the deadline.

If you wish to appeal, you must do so quickly. Under federal law, a criminal defendant typically has 14 days from conviction or sentencing. This is an inflexible deadline in most cases, and it is strictly enforced. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal will result in the defendant being barred from bringing an appeal.

What Happens on Appeal in Federal Court

An appeal is not a new trial. There is no new evidence introduced or witnesses called. Instead, the parties will submit written briefs and have oral argument. Oral arguments takes place before a panel of judges (usually three in number) who will decide the case. At oral argument, both sides will present their strongest points, and the judges may ask questions of the attorneys.

There are a limited number of reasons why a federal court will overturn your conviction and/or sentence. Determinations of fact by the trial court are typically not reviewed by a court of appeal, for example. An appeal court will consider such issues as whether the trial court applied the law correctly and whether your trial attorney gave you effective legal counsel.

Also, for some issues to be appealable, the trial attorney must have reserved it for appeal. This means that the attorney had to have objected at the trial court. These types of claims can be difficult to argue. An attorney will need a complete understanding of your trial as well as a thorough appreciation of the law in order to successfully argue such an issue.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Federal Appellate Attorney

For the best chances of success on appeal, an attorney should be hired. In many cases, a defendant will wish to retain a new attorney on appeal. The Illinois criminal appeals lawyer at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel has the experience clients will benefit from in an appellate federal court. Our offices can be reached at 312-629-0669.

 

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frap/rule_4

http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/types-cases/appeals

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