Just as in state court, you have the right to appeal a verdict against you in federal court if a legal error contributed to your conviction. However, the process of pursuing a federal appeal is both lengthy and complicated. If you want to appeal your federal charges, you should speak with an attorney who has experience handling these types of appeals.
If you would like to appeal your case by contesting a past verdict, contacting an Omaha federal appeals lawyer should be your top priority. A dedicated federal crimes attorney can ensure you understand the appeals process and will work tirelessly to reach a favorable outcome on your behalf.
What is the Purpose of an Appeal?
It is important to understand that an appeal cannot change the outcome of a federal criminal trial. You cannot introduce any new evidence or witnesses during the appellate process, and the appellate court will never make a new decision on a case presented before it.
The purpose of an appeal is to contest the verdict of a previous court on legal or procedural grounds. Speak with an Omaha attorney to learn how an appeal might be useful after your federal conviction.
Grounds for Appealing a Federal Criminal Case in Omaha
Only “prejudicial” errors may lead to an appellate court reversing the verdict of a lower court. A prejudicial error must have had a substantial impact on the filing party. This means that if the appellate court finds that an error did occur but that it did not meaningfully affect the outcome of your case, it will not change the prior ruling.
Potential grounds for appeal include improper court procedures and inaccurate interpretation of evidence that led to a fundamentally unfair verdict. In these cases, you and your attorney must demonstrable a reasonable probability that the error was harmful to the outcome of the federal case and warrants an appeal. However, if a constitutional error occurred during a federal criminal trial, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the error was harmless.
Steps in the Federal Appeals Process
The appeals process for a verdict in federal criminal court begins when you and your lawyer file either a petition for review or a notice of appeal. After filing, you may receive further correspondence on the appeal, such as requests for additional forms, notification of filing fee requirements, and information about potential problems with the case. All communications will include a docket number assigned by the Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office
Generally, federal appellate courts resolve cases “on the briefs,” meaning the Court of Appeals does not schedule a hearing for oral arguments. Instead, the court makes a decision based solely on the documents you file with the appeal. An experienced federal appeals lawyer can argue for a hearing or—if the Court of Appeals hands down an unsatisfactory verdict—seek a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Learn More by Talking to an Omaha Federal Appeals Attorney
The consequences of a conviction in federal criminal court are often much more severe than a conviction for equivalent charges in state court. Nevertheless, you can still appeal your verdict if you believe a prejudicial error led to an unfair outcome.
Achieving a positive resolution to a federal appeal almost always requires assistance from a legal professional who has successfully handled similar cases. Call an Omaha federal appeals lawyer today to schedule a confidential consultation and discuss your options.