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After Trial

Federal Criminal Appeals Post-Trial

We Are Federal Criminal Appeals

Federal Criminal Appeals Law Firm Working In The Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal Throughout The United States:

If you have been convicted of a crime after a trial in a United States District Court, you have important rights that need to be protected by a Federal Appeals Lawyer. Your trial attorney may not be familiar with the Federal Criminal Appeals process, and you need to take action and fight at the next level, in the appellate courts. In the Federal system, this is the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Wherever you are in the United States, in whatever U.S. District Court you trial occurred, you must appeal to a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. There are 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal in the United States, each handles a different geographic area containing a number of States. We handle criminal appeals throughout the United States in the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. See the map below to determine which Circuit you are in.

We Are Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyers

This office handles criminal appeals and only criminal appeals. We research and write on more criminal appeals issues in one year than most lawyers write in a career. Experience in appellate courts, and especially in federal appeals courts, is essential to protecting your rights and crafting the best legal arguments for your Federal Criminal Appeal. We are admitted in Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal throughout the United States and in the United States Supreme Court. We know the essential issues to raise in a federal criminal appeals brief is not only important, it’s essential. Which legal arguments will work? Which legal arguments will not work in a given Circuit Court of Appeals? These are simple questions, but essential to creating and arguing a winning appeal; The lawyer handling your Federal Criminal Appeal needs to know how to answer these questions.

Ask Your Lawyer These Questions:

  • How many criminal appeals do you do in a typical year?
  • What Percentage Of Your Practice Is Federal Criminal Appeals?
  • What Makes You The Best Lawyer To Handle A Federal Criminal Appeal?

How To Work A Federal Criminal Appeal After Trial: Talking To My Client, Carefully Examining The Trial Record

Where does a Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyer start? The best place to start is by 1) talking to your client and 2) reading the trial record. This is an essential part of any appeal. My client has information; he/she was at the trial and saw what happened and is keenly aware of the facts as they occurred at trial. This is essential information because the trial record does not always tell the whole story; reading the trial transcript is never enough. Often times something occurred at trial that is not reflected in the transcript, a facial expression, when two people talk at the same time what both say is not always recorded by the court reporter, what the jurors are doing during testimony is not recorded. These are all things that need to be considered when doing a Federal Criminal Appeal. Talking to my client is the best place to start.

The other best place to start that will yield the most legal arguments is the trial record. I will spend many hours pouring over the trial record looking for legal issues in the form of mistakes by the trial judge, unfair rulings on evidence, constitutional errors, due process errors including the right to a fair trial, errors in the instructions to the jury. Every phase of the trial transcript needs to be studied, from jury selection to opening statements to witness testimony to closing argument and especially the trial judge’s instructions to the jury on the law. Each phase of the trial must be examined and carefully inspected to ensure the client’s constitutional rights are being protected. Each phase of the trial carries with it specific evidentiary and constitutional protections for the accused that must be examined and protected at the appellate level.

Your Constitutional Rights At Trial

Perhaps the most important job for me as a Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyer is to protect the constitutional rights of my clients. In order to protect those rights, the lawyer handling your Federal Criminal Appeal must be keenly aware of what those rights are and where the violations might occur. They are not always obvious to the client or the trial lawyer. Careful inspection of the trial record and comparison of the testimony and the judge’s instructions to the jury on the law is necessary to ensure every single constitutional protection is afforded my client.

Constitutional rights start before the trial starts. The overwhelming majority of those rights are found in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitutional. They are, among others, Search and Seizure rights, Right to remain silent, Right to Counsel, Due Process, Right To Trial by Jury, Grand Jury rights, and many others. There may have been pre-trial hearings to determine the admissibility of certain types of evidence, such as whether a wiretap certain phone conversations were constitutionally obtained, whether the arrest and/or a search occurring in conjunction with that arrest was constitutional and whether items were constitutionally seized by federal officers. Each aspect of the case and the facts associated with the seizure of evidence and arrest of the accused must be carefully considered to ensure the constitution was followed and a client’s rights are protected.

Crafting The Appellate Brief: “What If My Trial Lawyer Didn’t Argue That Legal Issue In The Lower Court?”

Preserving issues for appellate review is fundamental. In order for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to consider a legal issue on appeal, it must first have been raised with the trial court. This is called “preserving the issue for appellate review”. The appellate court, often, will not consider a legal issue raised on appeal if the issue was never raised in the trial court.

If an important legal issue was never raised in the trial court, often it is not possible to successfully argue it before the appellate court. Many times it is essential to go back to the trial court and raise the issue in motion practice before filing the appellate brief. It is essential to recognize when this is necessary because the appellate court will apply a different and more difficult standard of legal review where the issue is not first raised with the trial court. If it is necessary to return to the trial court to raise a legal issue and preserve that issue for appellate review, there are a number of mechanisms that the criminal appeals lawyer can avail himself of in order to do this. They include Rule 29, Habeas Corpus, and Coram Nobis. Each of these post trial motions or petitions has an important function, and can be used to the benefit of the client. Knowing when and how is an important function of a federal criminal appeals lawyer.

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