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Understand these points about a federal appeal

Some people who face criminal charges in federal court will end up needing to file an appeal of a conviction or sentence. The process for doing this is a very strict one that you need to be familiar with if you are planning to launch an appeal. There are several points that you need to know before you embark on the process.

The appeals process is one that is slow. This isn't a rapid way to get a federal conviction taken off your record. You should expect to have the process last months, but you also shouldn't be surprised if it lasts a year or longer. This is partly because of the steps necessary in the appeal, but also because the federal court system is so bogged down with cases.

When you launch an appeal, you aren't getting a new trial. Instead, you are asking the court to consider the reason you cited as the reason for the appeal and to determine if it is a valid one. The vast majority of these appeals are resolved based on the written briefs that are submitted without either side having to come before the court for oral arguments.

Not having to make oral arguments in these cases is one reason why the appeal brief that is sent to the court is so important. Improperly prepared briefs could result in the appeal being denied, which would have a direct impact on your freedom. Instead of taking that chance, you should make sure that you are working with someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of the federal appeals process.

Source: FindLaw, "Federal Criminal Appeals: 10 Things You Should Know," accessed Jan. 18, 2018

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