Being convicted of a federal crime can have a big impact on your life. If you believe that you have been convicted in an unfair manner, you needn’t lose hope. Instead of surrendering to the situation, you can make a federal criminal appeal. This will give you a chance to get the decision overturned. But remember that federal law is complex. Before you file a federal criminal appeal, there are a few things that you should be aware of, as outlined below:
Federal criminal appeal does not mean a chance for retrial
Most people carry the misconception that a federal criminal appeal will give them a chance for a retrial. They believe that their attorney will be able to present new evidence or new witness in support of their case. Well, nothing of this sort happens at a federal criminal appeal. A trial and an appeal are not the same. A federal criminal appeal means a legal procedure through which the ruling of a lower court can be contested based on certain legal factors. No new evidence or facts can be presented in an appeal.
Federal criminal appeals are often slow-paced
If you are looking for an immediate outcome, you may be disappointed by the speed at which the federal criminal appellate functions. Often federal criminal appeals extend for months before any result can be obtained. This is because of the time-consuming procedure of appeals and the way a federal court functions.
Briefs are the essential part of an appeal
A large number of federal criminal appeals are resolved based on the briefs. A brief is a document that is filed by the appealing party. It states the facts related to the case and has a persuasive argument highlighting the legal errors that happened in the lower court. The panel of judges decides whether the court will entertain oral arguments for the case or not based on this brief. This makes the brief the most critical part of your appeal. So, you must hire a federal criminal appeal lawyer who is experienced and expert in doing legal research and writing briefs persuasively.
Several things count in an appeal
Though briefs are considered to be the essential thing in a federal criminal appeal, there are many other things that count. For instance, fulfilling of technical requirements is an important part of the appeal procedure. If your attorney fails to comply with the guidelines of filing an appeal, your appeal will take more time to progress. That is why you need to be sure that your lawyer has in-depth experience of filing and handling federal criminal appeals in court.
Appeals can turn out to be expensive
Your legal expenses for appeal will depend on the complexity and time taken to resolve your case. If you have a complex case that requires extensive research of dense transcripts of the trail and evidence, your litigation cost will increase. The more time your lawyer dedicates to your case, the higher will be his or her fees. To get an idea of the litigation cost for your case, talk to your lawyer at the very beginning.