Top Five Things You Should Know About a Federal Appeal

Posted on in Appeals

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.

The Process is Slow

Appeals at any level of the criminal justice system may take time, but appeals at the federal level are even lengthier. This is because the federal courts are extremely congested, with dockets that are already quite full. For this reason, it can take months, or even a year or more, before an appeals case is closed. It is important for individuals appealing a case to remain patient. It can also help to remember that the process is so slow because the court gives each case its full attention and carefully considers all the facts of the case, which is good news for those appealing a conviction.

Appeals Can Be Expensive

Just like in trial, during an appeal, there are lengthy trial manuscripts to review, and sometimes thousands of pages of documentary evidence that must be read and processed. This all takes time and if there are issues with the appeal, that will take even more time. These procedures mean people have to work on the case for longer, which translates into higher costs for those going through the appeal process.

Losing an Appeal Is Not the End

Many people think that if they lose their case on appeal, that is the end of the road. However, that is not true. After losing an appeal at the federal level, a defendant may file a petition for rehearing. This asks the courts to reconsider the decision.

You Need an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Filing an appeal and going through the lengthy process is never easy. A skilled Chicago federal criminal defense attorney can help guide you through the complex system and give your appeal the best chance of success. If you need to appeal a decision at the federal court level, call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel today. Attorney Garfinkel has the necessary experience in federal courts to fight for his clients and get the results they need. Call us today at 312-629-0669 to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.


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