How Long Does A Federal Criminal Appeal Take?
A federal criminal appeal is done when either of the participants in a case is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the court. Sometimes when facing federal charges in a federal court of law, the accused or the complainant may win or lose the case to or against the other. If either of them feels dissatisfied with the decision made, he or she is usually expected to file an appeal within 30 days as dictated by the law. However, one should be patient enough in the course of the suit because it follows a legal process as prescribed by the law of a given jurisdiction and therefore needs time for success. It goes beyond the expectations of many people who otherwise believed that the process wouldn’t take long. The appeal court of anywhere can take some months up to a maximum of two and a half years to render judgment. This is because it follows processes and each process must take time for it to be just and follows the rule of the law of that particular jurisdiction. The due process is discussed below;
The appellant makes an official notice to the court.
The attorney should file the notice of appeal soon to beat deadlines and get the process started. In many appellant courts at different regions, the note is usually expected to be filed within ten days of sentencing.
Filling of the actual appeal
The appellant and his or her attorney are free to file the petition once they have notified the courts. Again this has deadlines and must be done within 30 days as guaranteed by the court of law. The failure to file the appeal within the stipulated time will lead to the forfeiture of your right to appeal.
Response from the court
It comes after the court clerks have reviewed the appeal. The prosecution is usually mandated by the law to submit a written response to the petition within 30 days.
Written briefs and oral arguments
All these are after the appeal, and the response from the prosecution has been submitted and reviewed. The case is after that scheduled so that judges can read through the written briefs
and get to hear arguments from both sides. The time the suit makes it to the appeal court depends on the number of cases in the docket. It can take from 3-4 months.
Deliberation and decision.
A just and rational deliberation comes forth after the judges have read the briefs as well as heard oral arguments if they were necessary. The decision is reached after judges have taken as much of their time as possible.
Why an appellant may need an attorney
Enables one to get their appeal started: The attorney helps you identify potential issues that you can appeal against, ensures that specific arguments are not eliminated and the trial counsel presents evidence that best supports your legal arguments on the given appeal. Also, approaching the appellate attorney very early sends a strong signal to the opponent that you are pressing on the suit and thus scare him or her away.
Ensures that the process runs smoothly up to judgment and the deadlines met
The appellate attorney provides that complex issues are simplified as early as possible and that no mistakes allowed throughout the process. Also, the rules that dictate the process are confusing and are understood better by the attorney. It works better for you since you will not be able to make mistakes by not knowing what is right or wrong. He or she also helps in the explaining the complexities of post-judgment fees and ensures cost procedures are not committed.
Save time and money
The appellate court process tends to be complicated, time-consuming and capital intensive. The trial attorneys, therefore, may not be at a position to stand this especially if they are unfamiliar. They can as well do the best job than the trial attorneys by negotiating well on the appellate process because they can prepare an appeal very fast and at a cost-effective fee.
Generally, the appeal process requires patience as the core virtue of the appellant. It is because the prosecution is mandated by the law to take as much of their time to intervene on the case and render a just judgment per the law of the given jurisdiction.
Criminal charges are divided into federal and state charges. What many people do not understand is that there exists a significant difference between the two. Federal prosecutors and the federal government charge people involved in federal crimes. It is therefore important if you are facing federal charges or you are under investigation by a federal body to consider hiring the services of an attorney who is experienced and understands how federal cases should be handled.
There are some factors that are considered when determining if a crime will be placed under federal criminal charges. If one commits a crime in more than one state, the offence will automatically be classified as a federal crime. Also, if you commit a crime on federal territory, you will not be charged under the state laws but the federal laws. For instance, if a crime is committed in a national park, the charges will be pursued by the federal prosecutors since a national park is a federal property. Also, if you rob a bank that is insured by a federal agency, you will face federal charges. There are many other factors that need to be considered when deciding whether a matter will be classified under state or federal laws.
Due to the veracity of federal crimes, it is easy for one to be convicted. In case you have been convicted during a trial, there is a chance that you can appeal your conviction. However, it is important to understand that it is a rigorous process that requires patience. Due to different reasons, federal appeals tend to take longer than other cases. In most cases, federal appeals take between two months and two years before the appeals court can render a judgment. It is therefore not unreasonable to anticipate that the appeals process will take more than one year.
Many people wonder why it takes so long for the appeals court to make a judgment in a case of federal appeal. There are factors which make the process slow and as a result affecting the duration taken before a decision is rendered. For complex cases, it might take longer to prepare the necessary briefs and even take longer for the appeals court to consider the appeal. The process of federal appeals involves a number of steps that we shall highlight.
Notice of appeal: The convict’s attorney should present the notice of appeal. The process should begin at the earliest possible opportunity. In most cases, a notice of appeal is filed within ten days after sentencing.
Filing the appeal: After the court has been notified about the appeal, the actual appeal should be presented to the court within 30 days or the right of appeal will be forfeited.
Response from respondents: After your attorney has presented the appeal, the prosecution is also required to submit a rebuttal in 30 days after your appeal was filed. At the same time, the court clerks will be going through the appeal to verify that everything is in order.
Oral arguments and written briefs: Once both sides have responded to the appeal, the case will be placed on the court’s calendar, and judges will start by reviewing the written briefs before engaging both sides in an arguments sessions. Normally, it takes between three to four months before the case can be presented in court.
Deliberation and decision: After hearing oral presentations and reading the written briefs, the judges will take some time to consider the evidence presented and later render a decision.
Although a convicted person might want the appeals process to be expedited, it is important to note that a hurriedly rendered decision might go against you. It is important to take as much time as possible to present your case carefully and ensure that all the reasons that contributed to the conviction are opposed vehemently.
The time frames indicated in this article can be adjusted depending on the needs of a case. Therefore, there is no fixed duration that we can authoritatively claim the appeals process will take. It is upon a convict and his or her legal team to prepare adequately so that a decision can be rendered to their benefit.