You absolutely have the right to appeal a federal conviction, but you should obtain an attorney to guide you through the process. The first step would be to file a notice of appeal in the appellate court where the case is pending. This notifies the court of appeals and the judge who sentenced you that you are going to appeal your sentence. You will represent yourself, be appointed an attorney, or hire your own attorney to litigate the appeal.
If you have an federal criminal defense lawyer, one of the first things they will do is obtain the transcript from the trial and the pre-trial rulings so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not your appeal is likely to be successful. For instance, a small mistake made at a federal trial probably won't be a reversible error, so they aren't going to reverse the conviction.
If a major ruling is handed down which causes a big problem in your federal case and you cannot properly defend yourself, then you would be in a strong position to successfully litigate an appeal. In order to have the best chance of success, have an appellate lawyer review all the details of your case. The original attorney may be able to point the appellate lawyer in the right direction in terms of what to look for in evaluating whether or not an appeal is applicable.
How Long Does It Take To Go Through The Appeals Process In Federal Court?
Carrying out a proper appeal will take some time. The process will involve having your attorney gather and review all the records of the trial, which can take some time. Once your attorney does the necessary research, they will file the opening brief in the appellate case.
Appeals usually take many months or even years depending on the circumstances of the case and the legal issues involved. You should make sure that you have a good chance of successfully appealing your case so as to avoid wasting your time and money
A motion for a new trial or a motion for a retrial is something that is done before an appeal, so it occurs between the conviction and the actual sentencing of a criminal defendant in a federal case. When you file a motion in the court for a new trial, you are saying to the court that there was a mistake made during the initial trial. If the court grants the motion, then you would get a new trial in front of that court.
If the court denies the motion, then that could actually be grounds for an appeal. A motion for a new trial in a federal case is not easy to win because it will be held in front of the judge who made the initial rulings, and it is highly unlikely that the judge will reverse himself and admit to having made an error (unless it was a glaring error or there is newly discovered evidence). If you win an appeal and that appellate court reverses the case, then they will often remand the case back to the trial court and order the trial court to conduct a new trial.
In my experience, federal appeals are costly, but it will depend on the trial. For example, if the trial took two weeks, then the appellate lawyer is going to have to spend a significant amount of time reviewing all of the records of that trial.
They are also going to have to go through all of the pretrial motions and anything else that was done which could have affected your rights to a fair speedy trial. You need to do your due diligence in finding a good lawyer who has practiced for a long time, is familiar with the jurisdiction where your appeal is going to be filed, and has had success with appeals in the past. It doesn't make sense to do an appeal if you don't have a good chance of being successful.
Why Is A District Court Ruling So Critical To My Federal Case?
The district court is the court where your case was litigated, where you had your post-indictment arraignment, and where all the rulings related to your federal criminal case were made. If there were any mistakes made before or during trial, then the district court's rulings would be the focus of the appeal.
For example, if the judge let in negative evidence against you that shouldn't have been let in, then your appellate lawyer will file a motion saying that that evidence should not have been let in and that it impacted your right to a fair trial; if the appellate court agrees, then that might be grounds for reversing the case.