When you or your loved one have been charged with a federal crime, you may want to know your options in appealing the conviction. You may feel that the judge or jury made an improper decision based on the evidence presented, and you want to overturn the case. It could be your lawyer that made a mistake, and you want to have a fresh set of eyes look at your situation and appeal of the matter.
Under the United States Constitution, you have the right to appeal any decision that was handed down. You must show that you were not given a fair trial due to one or more factors. It can be because the judge or jury was given information that was false, or you could have been given a court-appointed or had another attorney that did little to help you.
You, also, have the right to competent counsel in any crime. If you feel that your rights have been infringed upon due to the trial’s outcome, then you can try to get your conviction overturned under code 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a petition can be filed for an appeal.
Two basic appeals can be filed in a federal court to have the appellate court review your case. The circumstances will depict if it’s best to file a direct appeal or a 2255.
One of the most common methods of appealing your case is called a direct appeal. After sentencing has been handed down, you have fourteen days to file the documents for this type of appeal. To have sufficient grounds, you must be able to prove one of the following:
You can’t just say that they didn’t like you or other things of that nature. You must prove to a federal judge that they didn’t act within the law and did you wrong. Establishing what happened in the courtroom can be quite challenging, especially when you are saying that the judge or jury was biased or not following legal protocol.
A habeas petition is called a 2255, and it gets its name from the section of the Constitution where it originates. You can find this at 28 U.S.C. section 2255. When you have an attorney file this petition on your behalf, it means that you have been locked up unjustly. It means that something has occurred that has violated your rights. The most common reason to file this appeal is because of a lack of effective legal representation.
If your lawyer didn’t conduct a proper investigation of the evidence, didn’t file necessary documents or motions, and messed up your chances of a fair trial, then you may consider submitting a 2255.
You must keep in mind that using a 2255 is a very different kind of appeal than going about it directly. In a direct appeal, you are stating that the court or its agents did something wrong in your case, but when you file a 2255, you are blaming everything on the lawyer that represented you.
When it comes to the legal system and most courts, the timing of the appeal means everything. Traditionally, you file a direct appeal followed by a 2255. However, when you are dealing with the federal court circuit, everything is different. You and your attorney must figure out what you want the court to address, and then you can file the appropriate documentation. The “vehicle” you use in your appeal can mean everything to the outcome. Before slinging accusations at the judge, jury or an attorney, you must have sufficient evidence to back up your statements.
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