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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerJust like with the state criminal justice system, if you have been convicted of a federal crime, you can also appeal it. Unlike appeals that happen at the state level though, federal appellate courts are much more difficult to understand than appeals that happen in state court. This is largely due to the fact that federal appellate judges and their staff are kept separate from the defendant, their lawyer, and the public. To demystify the process, listed below are the top five things anyone convicted of a federal crime, such as embezzlement or drug trafficking, should know if they want to appeal the decision.

A Federal Appeal is Not a Retrial

Federal appeals do not take place in a courtroom. There are no witnesses, new evidence is not presented, and there is not a jury. Instead, federal appeals deal only with the legality of the original trial. Attorneys for each side will prepare a brief that raises any errors made in the original trial or responds to allegations of an error made.

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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.

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Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,If you were found guilty of a federal crime although you were innocent, it might not be your fault. All too often unjustly accused citizens are carted off to prison due to a lack of a convincing attorney. Many find out too late that assigned public defenders are not the best option as many of them are overworked, preventing the one-on-one experience as well as the in-depth investigation necessary to build a credible defense case. You may be eligible for an appeal of the decision. To do so, you will require someone who is available to give you their utmost attention and build an aggressive and persuasive argument on your behalf. The federal criminal appeals process is confusing and daunting to those unfamiliar with the process; therefore it is vital to find an attorney who specializes in federal criminal law.

This Is Not A Retrial

Your attorney presented all of the evidence available to the judge within the presence of court reporters, witnesses, and a jury. The appellate court is vastly different. New evidence is inadmissible at this point, and the entire process is through the transferring of a series of forms, files, and existing evidence. In this “courtroom,” the legality of the original decision is under contestation. Both sides of the argument file briefs to the appellate judge both raising concerns and responding to concerns of legal errors that occurred in the original hearing.

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