Federal Criminal Appeals
Most criminal defense lawyers - even those that handle state court criminal appeals - have relatively limited experience with criminal appeals in the federal court system. The trial record created in a federal district court is governed by federal law, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence. All of these can - and often do - differ dramatically from their state court counterparts. Federal appellate practice and procedure also differs dramatically from the appellate procedures followed in most state court systems. Defendants seeking to hire a New Jersey federal appellate attorney must therefore retain counsel that knows Federal practice.
The New Jersey federal appeals law firm of James S. Friedman, LLC, regularly represents clients in federal criminal appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Working with local counsel, we also represent federal criminal defendants in appeals in federal appellate courts throughout the country.Grounds for a Federal Appeal
Federal appellate procedure differs dramatically from state appellate procedures. However, federal appeals frequently stem from many of the same legal issues that give rise to state appeals. The grounds for a Federal criminal appeal can include, but are not limited to:
- Denial of a motion to suppress evidence;
- Denial of a motion to suppress a defendant's statement to law enforcement;
- Denial of a motion to admit evidence helpful to the defense;
- Denial of a motion to dismiss the charges;
- Denial of a post-trial motion;
- Evidence disappeared or was tampered with prior to trial;
- New evidence materialized but was not disclosed to the defense attorney or used at trial;
- The district court applied the wrong law to the case;
- The district court's jury charge was wrong;
- The sentence imposed by the district court was illegal;
- The Assistant United States Attorney representing the Government made improper comments to the jury; or
- Other improper conduct by the Assistant United States Attorney or other law enforcement agent that contributed to a finding of guilt, such as withholding information from defense counsel that should have been disclosed.
Like state criminal appeals, federal criminal appeals are based on the trial record. We analyze the district court trial record thoroughly, looking for errors and irregularities that can reverse a client's criminal conviction or reduce their sentence.Improper Application of Sentencing Guidelines may be the Basis for an Appeal
The United States Supreme Court has long held that federal sentencing guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory. However, most federal district court judges remain heavily influenced by a sentence suggested by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Improper application of the guidelines may give a criminal defendant a strong issue for a criminal appeal. An experienced federal criminal appeals lawyer in New Jersey can determine whether an individual client has sufficient grounds for appeal based upon an erroneous guidelines calculation.Appearing in Federal Appeals Courts in New York and New Jersey
We handle appeals arising from the misapplication of sentencing guidelines and all other federal criminal issues in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal appellate courts throughout the United States. We have represented clients in appeals from convictions for a variety of federal offenses.Honest and Realistic Advice
Whatever the issue and wherever we appear, we are always sensitive to the cost of appeals. We advise clients about their chances of success, providing them with the information they need to decide navigate the appellate process. We also work diligently to keep the cost of an appeal within reason.
Generally speaking, and under current law, defendants seeking to appeal a criminal conviction from a United States District Court have 14 days from the date of their sentence file a Notice of Appeal and related paperwork with the Clerk of the district court where they were convicted. A defendant who misses this deadline will almost certainly lost their appellate rights.
If you have been convicted of a sex offense, internet crime, drug offense, or any other crime in a federal district court, contact us online or call 800-361-6554 (toll free) to schedule a consultation to discuss a federal criminal appeal.