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New Jersey What Happens In A Federal Criminal Appeal Lawyers

An Appeal Process Overview

An appeal is a legal process of reviewing a criminal’s conviction or sentence by a high court. One can’t retry any evidence, unveil new documents, or bring new witnesses during an appeal. An appeal doesn’t dictate if you are innocent or guilty. The main aim of an appeal is to determine whether any legal errors occurred during the trial that might have led to an unfair conviction.

What Happens During A Federal Criminal Appeal

The defendant has to wait for the court’s final judgment before they can begin the appeal process because the federal courts do not listen to an appeal filed before the final verdict.

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.

The defendant begins the appeal process by filing an appeal notice. This step is essential. The defendant has to file this notice within 14 days of the final judgment. After filing the appeal notice, the appellant then takes on obtaining all the necessary items for the proceedings.

These items include; the relevant motions, relevant transcripts for the proceedings, and the trial exhibits. The appellant’s counsel and the prosecutors coordinate on what the record should include.

Attorneys of both parties then submit their briefs. In appeal cases, briefs are of utmost importance. Both attorneys argue for the reversal or affirmation of the judgment in these briefs. Since judges will reject any arguments not included in the briefs, therefore, the attorneys must make their briefs complete and clear.

Small panels of up to three judges each are then assigned the case. These judges read all the briefs presented, review the records, and then make their verdict on the case. Occasionally the panel might set an oral argument. However, it is not a guarantee for success.

The court will then issue a written verdict at the end of the appeal process. A detailed opinion recounting all the arguments presented by both parties and facts about the case will accompany the written judgment. However, the panel might also decide to issue a short opinion that reverses or affirms the case without a detailed explanation.

Duration of a Federal Criminal Appeal

An appeal in the federal court system is a long process that can take an extended period. The duration of an appeal also varies depending on the circuit. For example, resolving a case within the Fourth Circuit may take around a year. The resolution of complicated appeals involving a large volume of records may take longer before being resolved.

Possible Outcomes of a Federal Criminal Appeal

The panel overseeing the appeal can either reverse or affirm the judgment of the trial court. If the panel of judges affirms the verdict of the trial court, the case is sent back to the trial court for enforcement of the judgment. Affirmation often means that the panel couldn’t find a legal error serious enough to alter the outcome.

In case of a reversal, the panel will issue additional instructions. For example, they may propose that the trial court hold another trial, dismiss all the charges, or offer the defendant a fine, or give a different sentence to the defendant. These instructions are dependent on the arguments on the briefs.

Reversals in federal appeals are very rare. Therefore, a lawyer should never make a promise on reversal even if they are confident about the issues raised.

Arguments presented during appeal

Selecting the arguments and issues to raise during an appeal is a delicate and tedious process. Therefore, the appellant’s attorney should take into account the following considerations while drafting the arguments.

  • Standard of review: It refers to how the judges overseeing the appeal will consider the decision of the trial court. It can either be a de novo, a clear error, or an abuse of discretion.
  • Harmless error: the appellant’s attorney must demonstrate how the trial court’s error affected the outcome and how this outcome was detrimental to the appellant.
  • Error preservation: refers to whether the appellant’s attorney properly objected the error during the trial, therefore, preserving the issues for an appeal.

What happens if the panel affirms the verdict?

If the panel overseeing the appeal affirms the trial court’s verdict, the attorney can request the court to rehear the appellant’s case. The three judges can decide to rehear the case “panel hearing” or that the case reheard by all the judges in the high court “rehearing en banc.” Filling of the rehearing petition occurs within 14 days of the affirmation.

If the attorney does not request a rehearing of if the request gets denied, the other option involves filing a cert petition. A cert petition is a request to the Supreme Court to take up the case. The Supreme Court can either grant or deny the request.

Getting good legal assistance

Having an experienced attorney can make all the difference between a reversal or affirmation of an appeal. The attorney’s ability to make convincing arguments can increase the chances of a reversal. That is why we at the Spodek Law Group offer you the best legal assistance in your federal appeal cases.

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