Criminal Appeals Attorney

Overview of Criminal Appeals

A state or federal criminal conviction does not always close the door with finality on a defendant. There may have been legal issues not identified or inappropriately argued by your original attorney, or objections made that were overruled by the trial court amounting to error.  Criminal defense attorney Ann Fitz has represented clients in various Courts of Appeals, and has successfully argued their cases on appeal.

Federal Criminal Appeals

Direct Appeals

A federal criminal appeal is the process by which the final judgment of the district court is attacked on legal grounds in the Circuit Court. For example, the evidence may be insufficient to support the jury verdict or the trial judge may have applied the wrong law at sentencing. An appeal is not a retrial or a rehearing - it is a proceeding which consists mostly of written briefs (and possibly oral argument) based on the facts and evidence that has already been introduced in the district court.

Federal Habeas Corpus

A habeas petition (also known as a 2255 petition) is a post-conviction remedy available that allows for collateral review after a direct appeal has been decided.  A federal habeas petition challenges the legality of a defendant's detention by the federal government on either on Constitutional grounds, most commonly ineffective assistance of counsel, or based on new law handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court that has been made retroactive.

Timing of Appeals

The timing is important as there is a statute of limitations for direct appeals. A notice of appeal has to be filed within 10 days from the final judgment being entered in the district court in order for the appeal to be docketed in the Circuit Court.  For federal habeas proceedings, the petition must typically be filed within 1 year from either the appellate court order or the dissemination of the new law. It is, therefore, imperative for you to contact us immediately for a review of your case.