What issues Do People Raise In A Federal Criminal Appeal?
After a criminal defendant gets a federal conviction at the conclusion of a trial, chances are high that they will consider bringing up an appeal. The upshot of a federal criminal appeal to a higher court is trying to get it to review the decision pronounced by the lower court. An appellant looks for any legal error that could have influenced the conclusion of the case in the lower court. When the appellant is successful in its appeal, the court may reverse the lower court decision delivered in part or as a whole. If the appeal is denied, then the decision pronounced by the lower court stands. Most people are not well conversant with federal criminal appeals, as they do not understand the issues to fight in the appeal. Here are some of the issues that people raise in federal criminal appeals.
A federal criminal appeal seeks to challenge legal decisions that were specifically made in the lower court. An appellant must establish that a specific legal error transpired in the lower court. There are four main issues that an appellant ought to raise when appealing a federal conviction.
Repression of Evidence
If an appellant had brought a motion for repression of evidence in the pre-trial stage and the same was denied, the appellate court can look into it again. An appellant, who had, for instance, filed a motion claiming that the evidence collected against them was done in a manner that violated their rights and lost, they can raise the same issue again. The appellant can litigate on improperly seized or acquired evidence under the Fourth Amendment to the constitution of the United States. They can contend that the evidence used against them in the lower court ought not to have been removed from his/her office or home. The appellant can base their argument on the point that the lower court erred when it allowed such illegally obtained evidence to be on record and relied on it to reach a conclusion.
Satisfactoriness of the Evidence
If an appellant feels that the prosecution did not satisfactorily prove a certain issue that is necessary for conviction, they can raise this issue during the appeal. This is not often an easy point to prove to the appellate court, but it can be brought up to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence used against an appellant in the lower court. The prosecution ought to prove a fact beyond reasonable doubt to warrant a conviction, and it is possible to argue on insufficient evidence on appeal.
Issues touching on the introduction and admissibility of evidence in the lower court form an important issue that an appellant can raise on appeal. There are various rules of evidence that govern how evidence is admitted in court and they ought to be strictly adhered to. An appellant can challenge the rulings issued by the lower court regarding evidence. If at all the lower court denied a party from testifying on behalf of the appellant, then he can tell the appellate court that the lower court erred on that regard.
As much as the lower courts have broad discretion when it comes to sentencing, it cannot be said that they possess complete discretion. There are certain factors that the lower courts ought to adhere to before imposing a sentence on a criminal defendant. An appellant can bring out the issue of excessive sentencing if the process followed by the lower court when imposing the sentence was wrong, not fair, and did not consider his arguments. The same can be raised in an appeal if they feel that the lower court judge applied the wrong law when imposing the sentence. An appellant can tell the appellate court to pronounce a new sentence guided by the law in making its final decision.
If an appellant is successful on their appeal, the relief they get depends on their claim. When an appeal is successful on the competence of the evidence relied upon by the lower court, a reversal of the conviction will suffice. If the appellate court finds that an appellant was handed excessive sentencing, they will get a fresh sentencing hearing. If the appeal is successful on suppression and admissibility of evidence then, a new trial can be granted.