An Overview of the Federal Appeals Process
Posted By The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass || 7-Jun-2013
It is important to understand that an initial guilty verdict is not necessarily the final word in your case. If have been charged with a federal crime or convicted at trial, you should understand how an appeal works. Here is what you need to know about the federal criminal appeals process:
Who Can Appeal a Conviction?
As the defendant, you can appeal a guilty verdict handed down by the trial court. The prosecution, however, cannot appeal if you are found not guilty. However, both sides are allowed to appeal a sentence that is handed down by a judge if you are convicted.
How Is a Conviction Appealed?
You can appeal your conviction by filing a brief with the court of appeals. A criminal appeal is much different than a trial. An appeal is meant to attack your conviction on a specific legal ground, but it is not a chance to retry your case. After you file your brief, the government will file a responsive brief. In most cases, you have the opportunity to file a reply brief after the government has responded to your initial brief. Most appeals are decided by the appellate court based solely on the briefs, but some cases will proceed to oral argument.
Which Court Handles the Appeal?
Your initial trial will be handled by a district court; these courts are overseen by one of 13 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. If you lose your appeal, you can file a writ of certiorari to request that the Supreme Court take your case, though the majority of cases do not make it to the Supreme Court.
Are you facing federal criminal charges or have you been convicted? It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the potential consequences of a conviction and can help you protect your rights. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we can handle your case with dedication and aggression. Schedule a free initial consultation today,