Federal crimes are often associated with highly complex legal and trial procedures, and
can have incredibly strict penalties upon conviction. However, the same
complexities of the process can be utilized as grounds for an appeal to
overturn a conviction. A successful federal criminal appeal could reduce
imposed penalties or ultimately reverse the conclusion of a lower court,
but only if there are sufficient grounds to appeal.
Grounds for a Federal Criminal Appeal
Superior courts at both the federal and state levels will not hear a criminal
appeal based simply on the existence of a guilty verdict. In other words,
an appeal will be thrown out if the entire rationale is that the accused
is dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court. To successfully
file a federal criminal appeal, you must cite at least one potential error
with the legal process that could have affected the outcome of your case.
Common issues that may constitute a federal criminal appeal:
Pretrial motions: The legal procedures completed before trial begins are just as important
as the trial itself. A close examination of pretrial motions and decisions
could reveal a significant error that can justify overturning a ruling,
such as the lower court allowing evidence to be used against a defendant
that was collected without a search warrant.
Evidentiary inconsistencies: How admissible evidence is handled (or not handled) within a trial could
cause an error worthy of an appeal, as in a lower-court judge preventing
a key witness from testifying without due cause.
Evidentiary sufficiency: Most federal charges can only be followed with a conviction if the accused
is “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Evidence that arguably
is not sufficient enough to satisfy this evidentiary standard could be
grounds for a valid federal criminal appeal.
Sentencing: All convictions should follow preset sentencing guidelines to dole out
penalties. A punishment for a federal crime conviction that goes well
beyond the normal guidelines, or does not use the right guideline, may
You May Have Just 14 Days to Appeal
After sentencing is imposed in a federal criminal case, defendants will
most likely only have 14 days to file a notice of appeal to challenge
the ruling. Anything filed beyond that date might be unusable. If you
believe your federal conviction should be overturned due to mishandling
of evidence or a legal error,
contact Berry Law Firm’s federal criminal appeals attorneys headquartered
in Omaha and Lincoln. With the firm by your side, you may be able to challenge
the authenticity of your federal crimes trial, ultimately contributing
to dropped charges or a reduced sentence in some cases. The Omaha federal
criminal appellate attorneys at Berry Law Firm have the abilities, experience,
and know-how to appeal your case, regardless of the opposition or court.
Call 402.817.6550 to schedule an initial consultation.