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The trial and conviction for a federal crime has just concluded and you’re waiting for sentencing. It’s a fantastic time therefore, to begin considering federal criminal appeals a bit more thoroughly. Before sentencing, you are allowed one vital opportunity to speak and try to mitigate the seriousness of your charges while pleading for leniency. The same trial judge about to pass sentence is the one that will rule if the case can go ahead to appeals. If a conviction is the result of your defense endeavor, you’ll have only 14 days to file the notice of appeal.
To lodge an appeal is to return to court the trial situation that sentencing has been passed on; to seek redress. One must consider two things before determining whether or not to appeal. One, if the trial court sentence is milder than what the federal prosecutor was arguing for; he or she might launch a cross-appeal to your appeal and the consequent sentence might be much stiffer! Two, if the legal representation you’ve used at trial is to be retained for the appeal or a more capable defense attorney with specific appeals experience hired.
When the trial court has passed sentence on a federal criminal case, a notice of appeal is to be filed. Expediency is advisable as this must adhere to the court system’s statute of limitations for filing an appeal notice; which is 14 days. According to www.uscourts.gov, there are 12 regional circuits in the 94 federal judicial authorities of the United States. In these circuits, there are 13 Federal Courts of Appeal; that has a panel of justices who manage all appeals on the federal level in each circuit. Above them is the US Court of Appeal for Federal Circuit which is the judicial institution that manages matters caused by international trade, national claims, constitutional and patent laws. A federal criminal appeals defendant must stay informed about the changes to court regulations and names; or locations of the courthouses.
Following the notice of appeal was dealt with, your attorney can then file docketing statements; these are the statements which pertain to a trial. They’ll enable your case details to be is easily put together by the court clerks prepared for referral to the appellate bench. In response to the registered notice; the court will issue a briefing schedule. Notification or communication to the deadline of the briefing program is written to all parties, and the federal criminal appeals defendant has 45 days to prepare an opening brief. You also have to get in touch with the court reporter who took notes of your event. These notes need to be prepared into trial transcripts that take some time; the transcripts will be utilized to initiate your appeal defense.
After the briefing schedule was released by the appellate court; the abilities of a competent federal criminal appeals lawyer will be required if not already obtained. Your counsel can help you to prepare an opening brief; this is the defendant’s first statement. The brief can be filed in a given from, filled on judicial online portals or handwritten. The opening brief is a lengthy citation filled record; aiming to demonstrate the appellate court using references to other related matters, the lower court’s trial result didn’t meet either legal or other expectations in reference to your case.
The Federal Court of Appeal receives your legal agents’ arguments; and then it is the turn of the federal prosecutor who records their opening brief in reply to yours. They answer to the arguments your counsel has put forward and try to show the bench why the sentencing you obtained is legally just. The defense lawyer then has a few weeks to submit a reply brief; either stressing firmly upon the opening briefs’ stronger points or passing strategic tackles to the prosecution’s arguments. The federal criminal appeals circuit court will then decide if the briefs fulfill the necessary requirements to pass a judgment. Based on the opening and reply briefs and other docketed evidence filed by the defense; they could pass sentencing or opt to hear oral arguments from the attorney against the prosecution. At oral arguments, each side has exactly 30 minutes to make its case; which can be an intense half hour. The discretion however, remains with the judge though parties can make programs in federal criminal appeals for their oral arguments to be heard.
Based on the outcome of this appeal, the defendant makes the decision to either; be satisfied with the appeal court’s sentence, appeal again in national circuit level and to further take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals seat has three judges that the president appoints and is on life tenure. Above this is the Supreme Court; which is the final stop for many appeals. There are however, many positive results to sentences which have gone through the national criminal appeals process.