You may have the right to appeal your conviction and sentence, even if you were found guilty at trial and sometimes even if you pleaded guilty. Just because you have been sentenced does not mean you must stop fighting. The federal criminal appeals lawyers at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office of The Zeiger Firm understand federal appellate law and can help you in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Many individuals want a fresh set of eyes to review their conviction to determine the appellate issues the court might consider when deciding whether to reverse the conviction or reduce the sentence imposed by the judge. Our federal criminal appeals attorneys can help you.
How Federal Criminal Appeals Lawyers Can Help?
Unlike at a trial, the issue in an appeal to the federal appeals court is generally whether the trial court made a legal error that affected the verdict or the sentence in your case. If the mistake was significant, the conviction or sentence may be reversed, or a new trial could be ordered. Or, if the judge made errors in your sentencing, you could be entitled to a new sentencing hearing, or the sentence could be reduced.
An experienced federal criminal appeal lawyer reviewing your case can make all the difference. That is why it is so critical to hire an attorney who understands the law relating to appeals and the procedures that apply to these cases.
Our federal appeal lawyers can apply their considerable years of experience to evaluate your legal options. Once we accept your case, we can take the following steps:
- Analyze the trial record – Our lawyers will analyze the trial record in your case from start to finish, including all pretrial motions, evidence, trial and hearings transcripts, and any other relevant documents from the trial. This will help us identify any legal issues we could raise on appeal.
- Assess and meet deadlines – To appeal a case, you must file a Notice of Appeal within 14 days of the original trial judgment. Failure to meet the deadline could jeopardize your right to an appeal, so it is important to begin working with an experienced federal appeals attorney immediately.
- Conduct legal research – We will research relevant federal and state laws, case law, and constitutional arguments that may apply to your case.
- Create and communicate compelling legal arguments – Our lawyers will create an effective strategy for appealing your case based on our analysis of the trial record and legal research. Whether we appeal your conviction or sentence, we will develop a clear and persuasive argument for why the judgment should be revered or modified. We will communicate our argument in written briefs and oral arguments before the federal appeals court.
- Continue the fight – Whatever the outcome of the court’s decision, we will be ready to continue the fight. If your case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial or sentencing, we can zealously defend you. If the court upholds your conviction or sentence, we can consider other options, which may include requesting a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Federal Criminal Appeal Cases We Handle
Our attorneys handle a wide range of federal criminal appeal cases, including the following:
- Drug offenses – We can appeal federal drug offenses involving the manufacturing, distribution, or possession of illegal drugs.
- Firearms offenses – We can represent defendants convicted of federal firearms offenses, such as the illegal possession, use, or sale of firearms.
- White-collar offenses – We represent clients convicted of white-collar crimes, such as bribery, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, and insider trading.
- Child exploitation – Federal child exploitation cases may involve possessing or distributing child pornography.
How to Win a Federal Appeal
Winning a federal criminal appeal requires a thorough understanding of the law, extensive experience with the appellate process, and a strong legal argument. Here are some key factors that contribute to a successful federal criminal appeal:
- Identifying errors – A successful appeal often involves identifying legal errors at the trial level, such as improper evidentiary rulings, jury instructions, or constitutional violations.
- Making a persuasive argument – A winning appeal requires a persuasive legal argument that cites relevant case law, statutory authority, or legal precedent to support it.
- Providing a strong factual record – A strong factual record is essential to winning a federal appeal. A federal appeals lawyer needs to fully understand every piece of evidence from the trial and how precedent applies to it.
- Hiring a good lawyer – The quality of your legal representation significantly affects your chances of success in a federal appeal. The best appellate lawyers have superb writing and advocacy skills and years of experience fighting and winning appeals for their clients.
Five Things to Know About Federal Criminal Appeals
Aside from appellate lawyers, few people have experience with federal criminal appeals. Based on our years of experience, here are five things you should know as you approach this process:
- Everyone is entitled to an appeal – Under U.S. law, every defendant has the right to appeal, provided they file their notice of appeal within 14 days of judgment. Defendants can appeal a conviction, sentence, or both. However, that does not mean every defendant has grounds for an appeal. You should consult a federal criminal appeals lawyer to determine the strength of your case for appeal.
- Your trial attorney matters – When you hear “objection” at a trial, an attorney might be protecting their client’s right to appeal and preserving the record. To present an argument on appeal, your trial attorney must have properly raised the issue in the trial court, usually through a timely objection. Therefore, a trial attorney with appellate experience can make a big difference.
- The appellate court does not retry the case – A federal criminal appeal is not a retrial. Rather, the appellate court’s role is to review the legal arguments and the trial record to determine whether the judge made any errors that unfairly affected the outcome of the case.
- The appeals process is lengthy – Federal criminal appeals can take a long time to resolve. It may take years to conduct research, file briefs, prepare arguments, and wait for a decision.
- Appeals are not easy –. Appellate courts generally give some deference to the trial court because it was in a better position to evaluate the evidence. Therefore, an appeals court will only reverse a decision in cases of clear errors or abuses. An experienced federal appeals lawyer with a proven track record knows how to present compelling arguments for their clients.
Why Choose The Zeiger Firm for Your Federal Criminal Appeal
At The Zeiger Firm, we represent individuals seeking new counsel to handle their federal court appeals in Pennsylvania in the third circuit. Our criminal defense attorneys are zealous advocates who have represented many individuals in appeals from their convictions and sentences in the 3rd circuit.
When founder Brian Zeiger started the firm in 2005, his aim was to provide the highest quality legal representation to Philadelphia clients facing the devastating prospect of a criminal conviction. Since then, he has built a firm of dedicated criminal lawyers recognized for their extensive trial experience and client-centric approach. In the process, The Zeiger Firm has earned a reputation for zealous, aggressive advocacy and undeniable results.
Mr. Zeiger is also sworn into the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. If you are unhappy with the result of a federal criminal case, contact Mr. Zeiger now to learn more about your right to appeal.
Get Legal Help from Our Experienced Federal Criminal Appeals Attorneys
When you need a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to represent you in an appeal from a sentence or conviction in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, contact The Zeiger Firm. Our goal is to represent every client zealously and to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a free initial consultation, please give us a call today.