After a federal court conviction, many people may feel like they were wrongfully convicted or sentenced and thus have an opportunity to appeal the case to a higher court. An appeal allows the defendant to point out possible legal errors that may have occurred that affected the final verdict. Usually, the higher court does not decide whether the accused person is guilty or not but instead reviews the possible errors and either upholds, overturns the decision, or sends it back as a new trial or recommends reviews.
An experienced attorney can identify the most persuasive issues to raise in a court of appeal and put up a compelling argument that would present your grievances and convince the court for a review. It is also good to note the court of appeal does not decide the innocence or guilt of an accused person. Here are some of the issues a defendant can raise in a federal criminal appeal.
You may raise issues concerning how the evidence got admitted or if some evidence was deemed inadmissible. This allows you to request the court to review the evidence and perhaps review the whole case with or without that particular disputed evidence. Our lawyers can take you through the review and give you possible options as a strategy in a court of appeal.
In a court of appeal, you may seek to suppress evidence obtained unlawfully. Such an issue may give you a chance to go back to how the police and other federal agents obtained evidence, challenging the constitutionality of the methods such as violence or violation of your rights. You may also seek a review of certain witnesses that you believe should have been allowed to testify but were not allowed in the lower court.
In the court of appeal, your attorney can seek a review of a statement you made in the lower court that the attorney requested for suppression but got admitted. The review of such decisions by the lower court can help you get the desired verdict.
In federal criminal proceedings, the prosecution must have concrete proof that all elements of the evidence apply to your offense. Therefore in the appeal court, you may raise issues that the prosecution failed to prove beyond doubt that you committed the said offense. Such an issue would give room for a review of the evidence by the appeal court.
All legal professionals have strict guidelines and are required to follow professional ethics and the law. If you believe that the prosecutor used illegal or unprofessional ways to obtain a verdict, you can raise the issue in the court of appeal and have your case reviewed.
In a court of law, your attorney is supposed to represent you in your best interest. However, in some cases, your lawyer may fail to investigate the criminal charges against you, failing to develop compelling arguments that can support your acquittal. The lawyer may even fail to object to inadmissible evidence or come up with a weak defense strategy. In such an instance, you can raise an issue of an incompetent attorney that failed to defend you appropriately.
All jurors are bound by strict rules to adhere to during criminal proceedings in a federal court. If you find out their actions violated the rules that later affected the verdict and convicted or sentenced you, then you can raise such misconduct in a court of appeal. These actions may include speaking to witnesses, fellow jurors, lawyers, or even talking to the judge outside court.
Once the courtroom proceedings are over and before the jury can make the final deliberation, the judge provides instructions to the jury, which guides the process of determining whether the accused is guilty or not. Under such cases, you may point out that the judge failed to provide the correct instruction or did not include particular relevant instructions altogether.
You may also decide to appeal and challenge the judge’s decision, arguing that the judge exceeded or swayed away from the federal guidelines on sentencing. By appealing against the sentence handed to you by the judge, you request the court of appeal to reconsider or reduce the sentence to fit within the federal guidelines.
Spodek law group has experienced Federal Criminal Appeal attorneys to pursue your right to appeal. We understand that appeals are available for a short time after the lower court verdict, so the faster you talk to an attorney, the better. The judge’s verdict may disappoint you and probably render you helpless but consulting a lawyer, an appeal may be successful and hence regain your freedom.
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