Paving The Way To Justice

Cassandra Stamm
Paving The Way To Justice

How to appeal a criminal conviction in federal court

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2021 | Federal Crimes

Many people in the Seattle area are charged with various crimes. People can be charged with crimes in both state court and federal court as well. After people are charged with crimes they go through the criminal justice process. During this process there are a few steps and types of hearings, but if the case does not end with a plea deal, the case will eventually end with a trial.

During the trial, the prosecution will present the evidence they have against the defendant and has the burden to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Throughout the trial, the judge will also be asked to make decisions regarding the admissibility of certain pieces of evidence and other decisions. At the end of the trial a jury will typically be asked to decide whether there was enough evidence to determine that the defendant did in fact commit the crime.

When convicted, many defendants may feel that they did not receive a fair trial for a number of reasons or that they were wrongfully convicted of the crime. People who find themselves in this position still have options to prove their innocence through an appeal.

Basic appeals process in Ninth Circuit

The appeals process is not as well understood as the criminal justice process and can be complicated. The appeals process starts with the Notice of Appeal and ordering a transcript of the entire trial or the portion that they intend to appeal. There also must be a statement of the case identifying what they are appealing. The record of the trial which includes exhibits must be preserved by the district court.

The appellant must also file a brief which states what is being appealed, contain a statement regarding the case law and statutes which will be relied on as well as their arguments on the issues. Then after everything has been filed, oral arguments could be made to a panel of justices.

There are many reasons that people in Seattle may have for appealing a conviction and district courts make mistakes. The appeals process is very technical though and complicated. Consulting with experienced attorneys could be very beneficial.