If you have been convicted of a crime at the federal level, you are entitled to an appeal. If successful, your appeal could result in a new trial, or it could overturn your conviction entirely. With the help of a determined federal defense attorney, an appeal could bring your case to a positive resolution.
It is important to remember that not all appeals are successful. In fact, the courts frequently dismiss these cases without ever addressing the central legal question. These dismissals can occur due to minor errors in formatting or a missed deadline. A Lincoln federal appeals lawyer at Berry Law can help you understand the requirements for contesting a case to ensure you comply with the court’s rules.
The Difference Between a Trial and an Appeal
The appeals process is different from a criminal trial. At trial, the court considers the evidence presented by both sides. This could include live testimony, physical evidence, or expert witness analysis. Once the trial concludes, the jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty of the charges.
When the appellate courts take up a case, they only consider the evidence that was submitted at trial. Appellate courts do not hear new witnesses or re-do trials from scratch. Their job is not to decide the case itself but to determine if there were any errors made at the trial level.
The differences between trial and appeal are significant, so first-hand experience with appellate work is vital. An attorney familiar with federal appeals can ensure your rights are protected and give you another chance at obtaining an acquittal.
Common Grounds for Appeal in Lincoln
Any major error at the trial level could result in a successful appeal. One of the most common grounds for appeal is known as “plain error.” Plain error occurs when the trial judge makes a mistake of law that potentially impacts the outcome of the case.
Minor, inconsequential errors will not result in a viable appeal. However, major errors regarding witness instructions or the sentencing process could result in the appeals court overturning a conviction.
Many federal appeals involve evidentiary issues. One of the primary duties of the trial judge is to determine what evidence the jury sees. If the court determines specific testimony or physical evidence is not relevant or is prejudicial, it can prevent the jury from hearing it at trial. When the judge makes a mistake regarding the evidence a jury hears, it could lead to a successful appeal.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Every person tried for a criminal offense is entitled to effective legal counsel under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. If an attorney provides inadequate legal counsel at trial, it could result in a successful appeal.
Appealing due to inadequate assistance of counsel requires proving that an attorney that was so ineffective that it likely altered the outcome at trial, which is often very difficult to prove.
A well-versed lawyer in Lincoln can identify any valid grounds for appeal in your federal case.
Talk to a Lincoln Federal Appeals Attorney Right Away
If you were convicted of a federal crime at trial, you still have a chance at avoiding the penalties of your conviction. The appeals process could lead to a new trial or even result in the dismissal of your case.
Federal appeals are complex, and the process is time-consuming. Let a Lincoln federal appeals lawyer assist you with fighting your conviction. Contact Berry Law today to schedule a confidential consultation about your charges.