Federal Appellate Procedure

A central tenet of the American legal system is the right to appeal. If you are convicted of a crime, whether by a guilty plea or a trial verdict, you can challenge either the conviction or the sentence. This is true in both state and federal courts.

To effectively appeal a conviction or sentence, you must adhere to proper procedures and have a strong basis for the appeal. Federal appellate procedures are complex. You should have a highly knowledgeable and skilled federal appeals lawyer guide you through the process.

You will not win an appeal and overturn a conviction or sentence by simply arguing the judgment was unfair or wrong. An appellate court neither provides a new trial nor accepts new evidence. You must be able to establish that a legal error occurred during the trial. Only if the appellate court finds a material legal mistake led to your conviction or inappropriate sentence will it reverse or remand your case.

To learn more about federal appellate procedure, do not hesitate to contact Spolin Law P.C. Award-winning federal criminal lawyer Aaron Spolin will review your case, explain the law, and advise you of the next best steps. Schedule a free initial consultation by submitting your information through our online contact form or calling (866) 716-2805.

Appeals of Criminal Convictions in Federal Court

The right to appeal a federal criminal conviction is not absolute or guaranteed. Criminal appeals are limited by:

  • The types of judgments and orders that can be appealed;
  • How long a defendant has to appeal;
  • Which arguments will effectively change the outcome of a defendant’s case;
  • Where a defendant can file an appeal based on a court’s jurisdiction.

You may have the right to file an appeal in federal court if you were convicted in federal court, or if exhausted the appellate process in the California court system. After a California criminal conviction, you must appeal in California court. Only if you have reached the highest state court possible and have a federal question can you take your case to the federal court.

Federal courts in California include the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California. Appeals for the U.S. District Courts go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Your Right to Counsel

You have the right to an attorney throughout the criminal court process, including during appeals. Though your trial attorney should inform you of your right to appeal, they should not represent you during that appeal. You should obtain a federal criminal appeals attorney who has the specific knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to effectively appeal a conviction or sentence.

Federal Appellate Procedure

One of the more difficult aspects of appealing a criminal conviction is adhering to the many procedural requirements. An attorney at Spolin Law P.C. will guide you in obtaining a complete record of your case, analyzing the basis for an appeal, and filing for an appeal. We are highly experienced in the procedural aspects of filing a notice of appeal and appellate briefs.

How Lawyers Handle Criminal Appeals

An attorney at Spolin Law P.C. will carefully review the record of your trial to discover any arguable issues. We also will discuss with you the burden we face in winning an appeal and the obstacles we may face.

The Hearing and Determination of Appeal

The appeal process involves drafting written briefs and, in some circumstances, presenting oral arguments to the appellate court. The potential outcomes of an appeal include a dismissal, affirmation, reversal with or without a retrial permitted, a reduction of the offense, or remand with directions for the lower court.

The appellate court’s determination may not be the final step in the appeals process. Depending on the outcome, federal appellate procedure may allow us to ask for a rehearing or seek a review with the Supreme Court.

Post-Conviction Review in Death Penalty Cases

The appellate process differs for capital cases. Spolin Law P.C. can guide you through the appeal, habeas corpus process, and stays of execution. We are familiar with the unique issues involved in capital cases.

Writs of Mandate and Prohibition

In addition to appeals to a higher court, Spolin Law P.C. also can utilize various writs. We are well-versed in the federal appellate procedures regarding filing petitions for writs. Through these petitions, we ask the court to consider a certain issue and command a lower court or other governmental authority to act or refrain from acting a certain way.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

A writ of habeas corpus can be used to question your imprisonment and seek your release. We have a thorough understanding of when and how to utilize petitions for writ of habeas corpus. Spolin Law P.C. is experienced in identifying when a petition for writ of habeas corpus is appropriate and preparing petitions.

Writs of Error Coram Nobis and Coram Vobis

In rare circumstances, we may file a motion for a writ of error. Through this writ, an appellate court can order a case record to be corrected and for a lower court to consider facts that were not on the trial record.

U.S Supreme Court Review

There are limited ways for a criminal case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. If you have exhausted the appellate process, talk with an attorney about the federal appellate process in regard to Supreme Court review. A federal appellate lawyer at Spolin Law P.C. can advise you on when Supreme Court review may be appropriate and how to seek that review through a petition for a writ of certiorari. Aaron Spolin is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Review of a District Court’s Decision

We can guide you through filing an appeal in a U.S. Court of Appeals following a district court’s verdict or sentence. We are well-versed in federal appellate procedure, including notice of appeal deadlines, certificates of appealability, stays, post-conviction motions, written brief requirements, oral argument requirements, forms, and more.

Call Spolin Law P.C. for Help With a Federal Appeal

Our skilled attorneys understand federal appellate procedure, and they can guide you through the complex process. Call us today at (866) 716-2805 or use our online contact form.