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Federal Criminal Appeals

February 5, 2019

If you have been convicted of a federal crime, then you have the opportunity to file an appeal. Your attorney can assist with filing this important documentation so that you have a fair trial and so that you have a second chance to clear your name if you believe that you are not guilty of the charges that have brought against you. If you plan to file an appeal, you usually need to file a notice so that the court is prepared. There is a time limit as to when you can submit a notice that you’re going to file an appeal. This limit is typically 14 days after you are delivered your sentence. You should try to work with your attorney and determine whether you are going to appeal your federal conviction before you are sentenced if you feel that the trial is not moving in your favor. In the event that you don’t have an attorney, you should hire someone to represent you before making the decision to appeal so that the proper paperwork can be completed and so that any further evidence can be reviewed before it’s submitted to the court.

Sometimes, you might be sentenced to a less amount of time than you could have possibly served. If you decide to file an appeal, you should keep in mind that the prosecution can file an appeal as well to try to have your sentence increased so that you spend more time in prison or on probation depending on the exact details. Consult with your attorney about the chance that you’re taking when you choose to file an appeal because you don’t want to risk losing and receiving a sentence that is worse than what you were originally given.

Make sure you file your notice within 14 days of receiving your sentence. If you miss this 14-day mark, then you can usually no longer file an appeal and have to abide by the sentence that you’ve been given. Once you’ve given the notice to file an appeal is in place, you will need to complete more paperwork that gives the court statements about the details of your case. One of the things that the court reporter will do is enter these records so that they will be on file and ready for the appeal process. When all of the documents are filed to notify that court that you intend to appeal, you will be given the notification that your trial is set on the schedule. You will usually have about 45 days to prepare your appeal. This is the time when you need to work closely with your attorney so that you can develop the best case possible. You will likely need to present a better case in your defense than you did during the initial trial. Your attorney will speak with you about your trial and the things that happened as well as what could happen during the appeal process.

The brief that is filed about your situation will include details as to why you and your attorney feel that you received the wrong sentence and that you were treated unfairly in court. Once your attorney files these details, then the prosecution will issue a statement in return. The prosecution will offer details as to why your sentence was fair or what could be done about your sentence if your attorney is able to prove that you were treated unfairly. You will be given the chance to file comments regarding those that are made by the prosecution. This is the time when you need to clearly submit the points that you initially made about your trial. You need to express yourself in a professional manner and ensure that you are delivering your true feelings. Your case will then go before three judges who will examine all of the evidence submitted about your case and make a final decision about your sentence.



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