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Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyers

Appealing a Federal Court Sentence: Federal Criminal Appeals

The trial and conviction for a federal crime has just concluded and you are waiting for sentencing. It is a good time therefore, to start considering federal criminal appeals a bit more thoroughly. Before sentencing, you are allowed one vital chance to speak and try to mitigate the seriousness of your charges while pleading for leniency. The same trial judge about to pass sentence is the one that will rule if the case can go forward to appeals. If a conviction is the result of your defense endeavor, you will have only 14 days to file the notice of appeal.

To lodge an appeal is to return to court the trial case that sentencing has been passed on; to seek redress. One must consider two things before deciding whether or not to appeal. One, if the trial court sentence is lighter than what the federal prosecutor was arguing for; he or she may launch a cross-appeal to your appeal and the resulting sentence might be much stiffer! Two, if the legal representation you have used at trial is to be retained for the appeal or a more competent defense attorney with specific appeals experience hired.

Once the trial court has passed sentence on a federal criminal case, a notice of appeal is to be filed. Expediency is advisable as this must adhere to the court system’s statute of limitations for filing an appeal notice; which is 14 days. According to www.uscourts.gov, there are 12 regional circuits in the 94 federal judicial jurisdictions of the United States. In these circuits, there are 13 federal Courts of Appeal; which has a panel of justices who handle all appeals on the federal level in each circuit. Above them is the US Court of Appeal for federal Circuit which is the judicial institution that handles matters resulting from international trade, federal claims, constitutional and patent laws. A federal criminal appeals defendant must stay informed about the changes to court names and regulations; or locations of the courthouses.

After the notice of appeal has been dealt with, your lawyer can then file docketing statements; these are the statements that pertain to your trial. They will enable your case details to be is easily put together by the court clerks ready for referral to the appellate bench. In response to the filed notice; the court will issue a briefing schedule. Notification or communication towards the deadline of the briefing schedule is written to all parties, and the federal criminal appeals defendant has 45 days to prepare an opening brief. You must also get in touch with the court reporter who took notes of your proceedings. These notes have to be prepared into trial transcripts which take some time; the transcripts will be used to initiate your appeal defense.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

After the briefing schedule has been published by the appellate court; the abilities of a capable federal criminal appeals lawyer will be required if not already acquired. Your counsel will help you to prepare an opening brief; this is the defendant’s first statement. The brief can be filed in a provided from, filled on judicial online portals or handwritten. The opening brief is a lengthy citation filled document; aiming to show the appellate court using references to other similar matters, that the lower court’s trial outcome did not meet either legal or other expectations in reference to your case.

The federal Court of Appeal receives your legal representatives’ arguments; and then it’s the turn of the federal prosecutor who files their opening brief in reply to yours. They reply to the arguments your counsel has put forward and strive to show the bench why the sentencing you received is legally just. The defense lawyer then has a few weeks to file a reply brief; either stressing firmly upon the opening briefs’ stronger points or passing tactical tackles to the prosecution’s arguments. The federal criminal appeals circuit court will then decide if the briefs meet the necessary requirements to pass a ruling. Based on the opening and reply briefs plus other docketed evidence filed by the defense; they can pass sentencing or opt to hear oral arguments from your lawyer against the prosecution. At oral arguments, each side has exactly 30 minutes to make its case; which can be an intense half hour. The discretion however, remains with the judge though parties can make applications in federal criminal appeals for their oral arguments to be heard.

Depending on the outcome of this appeal, the defendant makes the choice to either; be content with the appeal court’s sentence, appeal again at federal circuit level and to further take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The federal Circuit Court of Appeals bench has three judges that the president appoints and is on life tenure. Above this is the Supreme Court; which is the last stop for all appeals. There are however, many favorable outcomes to sentences that have gone through the federal criminal appeals process.

The federal court system has a great deal of control over American’s lives. In general, there are two possible types of activities that can be brought in front of the courts. A civil court case is a disagreement over a civil matter between two parties. A judge may find that one party owes the other party money. In contrast, the criminal courts are where more serious cases are heard. If found guilty, the person can be sentenced not only to heavy fines but also to a possibly lengthy prison term. One type of court where criminal cases are heard is are the federal courts. The federal court system is generally reserved for the most serious of all crimes. Someone accused of an act of terrorism may find themselves in the confines of the federal court system. The same might be true of many other types of serious crimes. This might apply to those who are accused of robbing a bank, engaging in carjacking or as part of hate crime.

Entering a Guilty Plea

Those who are charged in a federal court have the option of fighting the charges. They also have the option of deciding on a guilty plea. Many factors can go into a guilty plea. The person may be scared. They may have been informed there is overwhelming evidence against them. A person may be depressed. They can also be pressed to agree to this agreement by others who may have interests that are not in accordance with their own. A person can also be pressured by law enforcement officials into believing they have no other choice. While it may look like a guilty plea cannot be taken back, it is possible to do so. All those who are planning this course of action should understand what is involved as well as any possible consequences that may come up.

It’s important to know that you might not be able to withdraw a guilty plea. If you have already been sentenced, you might not be able to tell the courts you would like to enter a plea of innocence because you dislike the sentence you were given. However, you might plead guilty and, in turn, expect to receive a certain sentence. For example, you agreed to a guilty plea for possession and expect a year’s sentence. If the judge makes it clear they wish to give you a longer sentence, you have the right to turn around and say this is not your wish. In that case, it’s best to let your lawyer know any deal is off the table.

At the same time, you should also think about if this is in your best interest. When you decide to withdraw that plea, you are making the specific choice to go ahead within the confines of the court system and see if you can convince officials that you are not guilty as charged. Many defendants chose to engage in a process known as plea bargaining. During this process, your lawyer and government officials may discus many possible outcomes. The prosecutor may show you that they have evidence against you hat might be used against you if you decide to take the case forward. A prosecutor may also point out that you have a history of prior criminal activity. This can be seen as a negative even if you are not guilty of this particular crime. All such factors can influence your decision to enter a plea in the federal courts system.

Certain Circumstances

In certain circumstances, it makes perfect sense to withdraw the guilty plea. At heart, if you are totally innocent of all charges, the last thing you want to do is plead guilty of a crime you did not do. You want to fight for justice if there’s a reasonable chance of a good outcome. A conviction in a federal court will have a serious impact on the rest of your life. You will probably face at least some prison time as well as a potential fine. You might be refused a professional license that you need to earn a living such as a state nursing license or the one you have right now might be revoked.

If you choose this course of action, make sure that you have the right legal counsel. The choice to move forward with a plea of innocence will mean new hurdles you might have to face. You could be moving past a plea deal that would have given you less jail time. They can help you decide if the evidence is on your side and how to make best use of it. If you’ve switched legal counsel, the new counsel can you see any evidence that might be used to help you get the results you want.

Can I Get Out Of Jail While My Federal Criminal Appeal Is Pending?

The U.S Justice System is complex, and there are so many things that people do not understand. If you or someone close to you has been convicted in a federal crime and currently serving a sentence, one of the legal channels through which one can challenge the conviction is an appeal. In a case where the defendant has already been convicted, many people assume that the defendant must be in prison serving a sentence even as the appeal process goes on. There is a possibility in law that a convicted defendant can get out of jail pending the hearing of the appeal. It is a possibility, but unfortunately, it is not known to many people. It is for such reasons why defendants in a federal criminal case need to hire the services of highly qualified lawyers who understand the legal system and how it works. If you want to get out of jail pending your appeal, they are two things that must be established.

The first thing that you must do is to prove to the court that you are not a danger to the legal process of establishing whether you were involved in the crime committed. You must also prove that you are not in a position to run in case you are released. By legal standards, a defendant is required to give clear and convincing evidence to be released. You must approve beyond reasonable doubt that you’re not in a capacity to hurt anyone involved in your conviction and prove that you have no capacity to run into hiding outside the country. By providing clear and convincing evidence, it means that you must substantiate to the judges that you have no ill intentions after being released. The judges should not be left with any doubt in mind whether you will cause problems once released from jail.

The other thing you must do in order to be released pending an appeal is that you must show there are high chances that you will win the appeal and therefore avoid spending time in prison. You have to show that the conviction was made out of errors that contributed to your conviction. You must show that the judge or jury got their facts wrong and that you are sure that you will win the appeal. The main problem in such a case is created by the fact that you are facing the same court that convicted you in the first place. In fact, you are trying to tell the same judge who convicted you that they made a mistake and you’d did not deserve to spend time in prison. Clearly, it is an issue that is tough to sell to the court.

When you are arguing for release pending your appeal, you must convince the court that you are not only looking for a lesser sentence but aiming at spending no time in prison at all. So, if at conviction you were sentenced to five years in jail, you should not try to show that you deserved three years yet you want to be released pending your appeal. If you can manage to convince the judges that you are winning the appeal, then they have the right to release you from prison until the appeal case is heard and determined.

Trying to move a motion which will see you released from prison pending your appeal can be a difficult task to move in a court of law since you are facing the people who convicted you. However, it is an option in the legal system that can be raised and exploited if you do not want to spend time in prison as you wait for the determination of your appeal. When dealing with such an intricate matter, you need the services of the best legal minds available. You need someone who understands the legal system so well that he can secure your release. Highly qualified federal criminal defense lawyer can assist you to get your freedom as you wait for determination.

The hardest part about such a case is convincing a judge that you deserve to be released pending the hearing of your federal criminal appeal. Proving that the trial court was wrong in the first time is the biggest hurdle. Hiring the services of a knowledgeable attorney will give you the chance of walking out free as you fight for your freedom at the appellate court.

A criminal charge has the possibility of negatively impacting your future and that of your family. So, when you find yourself facing such a case, you need to explore all the possible channels to see that justice is served. You do not want to leave anything to chance that might see you spending many years behind bars for a crime you may not have committed.

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