The process of criminal appeals is mysterious and often misunderstood. At Broden & Mickelsen, we are board-certified criminal appeals attorneys with decades of combined experience as federal criminal appeals attorneys, which means that we have extensive insight when it comes to the inner workings of appellate courts and appeals cases.
In this article, we provide answers to frequently asked questions about federal criminal appeals cases and the appeals process.
When Can I File An Appeal?
Disliking the way that your trial turned out is not an adequate reason to file an appeal. In order to be able to file an appeal successfully, you will need to show evidence that the court made a mistake or that there was some form of prejudice involved on the part of the prosecutor.
If you have recently been convicted of a federal crime, it is important to discuss your case with a federal criminal appeals attorney as soon as possible to determine what your options are in regards to appealing the outcome of your case.
How Soon Do I Have to File an Appeal in Texas?
Appeals in Federal court must be filed within fourteen days after sentencing. Missing this deadline may mean being barred from filing an appeal, which makes it crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after sentencing. Remember, you can change lawyers at any time during the trial and appeals process if you are not satisfied with the defense they are providing.
Can I Appeal If I Accepted a Plea Bargain?
Usually, waiving your right to an appeal is part of the conditions of a plea agreement (which is also referred to as a plea bargain). If you plead guilty as part of a plea agreement, it is likely that you have forsaken your right to appeal. However, you may have reserved your right to appeal under the conditions of your plea agreement, and you may be able to appeal if the court that held your trial did not have proper jurisdiction to do so.
The specifics of whether or not you will be able to appeal after accepting a plea bargain will depend on the details and circumstances of your individual case, which is why it is important to speak to an experienced criminal appeals attorney who has thorough experience handling federal appeals cases.
How Long Do Federal Appeals Take?
Appeals cases vary in length depending on the charges associated with your trial, the issues you are raising on appeal, and how busy the court’s schedule is when you file your appeal. On average, federal appeals cases across the United States take about a year to complete.
What Happens if I Win My Appeal?
Winning an appeal doesn’t mean that your conviction will automatically be reversed or overturned. The result of winning an appeal will depend on the reason the appeal was filed, but most often, winning an appeal case results in the case being “remanded,” which means it is sent back to the trial court or judge that handled your conviction and sentencing.
If the appellate court determines that a certain piece of evidence in your case was inadmissible, for example, you will then be retried without that piece of evidence. If the prosecution cannot build a case against you without it, it may drop its case against you, resulting in your previous conviction being thrown out.
When a case is remanded, it usually results in one of several outcomes:
- You may receive a retrial from the trial court.
- You may be given the opportunity to negotiate a plea agreement.
- You may be given a new sentencing hearing so that the judge can adjust the sentence, in cases where the appeals court has deemed the sentencing too harsh.
What Happens if I Lose My Appeal?
On the other hand, losing an appeal doesn’t always mean that your fate is sealed. You may be eligible to ask the appellate court for a rehearing once it has made its decision.
If you lose your Federal appeal, you can file a writ of certiorari, which is filing a petition with the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court only hears a limited number of cases per year, which usually concern one or more of the following areas:
- Unsettled areas of law.
- Conflicting opinions from federal courts.
- Wide-ranging implications for constitutional rights.
If you have lost your Federal appeal, you may then consider filing a Federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus, also known as § 2255 motion. These motions have a strict statute of limitation or deadline that usually runs out a year after you received a decision on your appeal.
Dallas Federal Appellate Attorneys — Broden & Mickelsen
If you have been charged with criminal offenses, it is crucial to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling federal criminal appeals cases. Broden & Mickelsen provides aggressive and ethical representation to individuals and businesses accused of criminal offenses. The firm accomplishes this through its unique team approach to criminal defense, which involves both partners actively participating in the case.
To achieve a favorable resolution, Broden and Mickelsen evaluate each case individually and utilize all the resources available. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has certified criminal defense attorneys Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen as experts in criminal law for trials and appeals.
Call Broden & Mickelsen to discuss the details of your case today: (214) 720-9552.
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