If you have been convicted of a crime in federal court and want to file an appeal, you need to start working with a federal criminal appellate lawyer now. You do not need to work with the same lawyer who represented you at trial – in fact, in some cases there are important reasons why you shouldn’t – and at Oberheiden, P.C. we have an appellate lawyer on staff who can provide a free assessment of your chances of success on appeal.
Understanding Your Right to Appeal
If you are convicted of a federal crime at trial, you have an absolute right to appeal your conviction. However, as discussed below, there is a very short timeframe for filing a Notice of Appeal with the court.
An appeal is not simply a retrial of your criminal case. In fact, your appellate case will have almost no resemblance to your criminal trial. Rather, an appeal focuses on identifying legal errors at the district court level, and your lawyer’s task is to present legal arguments as to why you deserve to have your conviction overturned. Some of the grounds for filing an appeal in federal criminal court include:
- Lack of sufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict
- Improperly admitted or excluded evidence
- Juror drug or alcohol use
- Improper communications between jurors and witnesses or counsel
- Incorrect jury instructions
- Sentencing errors
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- Prosecutorial misconduct
Importantly, in order to win your appeal, it is not enough just to prove that an error was committed. Your attorney must also be able to effectively argue that the error affected the outcome of your case.
Filing a Notice of Appeal
In order to appeal your federal criminal conviction, the first step is to file a Notice of Appeal with the court. The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 14 days of the entry of judgment in your case.
A Notice of Appeal is not the appeal itself. Rather, it is simply a notification to the trial court and the appellate court that you plan to appeal your case. However, in order to file the Notice, your appellate lawyer will need to know whether you have a potential case, so it is important that you start working with an appellate lawyer right away.
About Oberheiden, P.C.’s Appellate Lawyer – Elizabeth Stepp
Appellate lawyer Elizabeth Stepp has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in appeals throughout the United States. Learn more about Elizabeth Stepp and her areas of experience.
Contact Oberheiden, P.C. Today
If you have recently been convicted in criminal court, we encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation. To speak with an experienced appellate lawyer about your case, call (800) 701-7249 or complete our online form today.