How long does an appeal take? Recognizing that the appeal of a federal court case can take over a year is key to managing your legal situation. Staying patient and calm in the face of adversity is an essential first step in overcoming your legal challenges.
Every day a desperate person in considerably serious legal trouble scours the internet, searching terms like “how long does a criminal appeal take,” “how long does it take for an appeal,” “how long does an appeal take,” and other related items. Sometimes the desperate search for an answer and solution to your legal trouble can lead to more anxiety.
In most cases, the best thing you can do is better understand the federal legal system and protocol when dealing with an appeal. It’s easier to move forward and battle your legal situation armed with an efficient amount of knowledge about the system and laws you’re battling
When people ask, “how long does an appeal take?” There is no definite answer. Most appeals end up becoming settled in a certain window of time. Generally, the process takes somewhere between 6 to 18 months.
The exact length of time is based on several variables. It’s possible to be more prepared by becoming proactive regarding your appeal. Accomplishing certain steps ahead of time could expedite your appeal process.
To get a more efficient answer to the question, “how long does an appeal take?” It helps to have a clear picture of the specific steps leading to the final court date.
How long does an appeal take in federal court? Keep in mind that federal court cases and appeals can take 25 to 50% longer than court cases involved at the local or state level. It’s important to remain calm and patient while waiting for your appeal date.
The steps of the process may vary slightly, depending on what is being appealed. Your attorney will have to make an important decision on how to approach the appeal.
If your attorney believes that the entire outcome of the case can be overturned, then he or she may decide to appeal the verdict. Appealing the verdict means your lawyer is attempting to change the final decision and outcome of the trial.
With the proper evidence and briefs presented to the judge, it’s possible that your attorney can have the verdict overturned. An overturned verdict would mean a guilty verdict is changed to a not-guilty verdict. This change in the trial result would mean that the sentencing becomes irrelevant, and the sentence would also be overturned.
However, if your attorney believes that there is no possibility for the verdict to be overturned, they may appeal the sentence that was handed down. The sentence can be appealed for several reasons. Dynamics that could sway the sentencing include a defendant’s mental capacity, the circumstances of the case, and the defendant’s health condition.
For example, if a sentence of 20 years was handed down to an individual who is elderly with a terminal illness, this could lead to a lighter sentence on the appeal date. A judge may grant an early compassionate release of five, ten, or fifteen years depending on the mindset of the judge and recommendations from the prosecuting attorney.
A good lawyer does not influence the amount of time your appeal will take. However, a good lawyer will file the correct deadlines on time and help prepare you for the process.
An efficient attorney should walk you through the entire process and ensure you understand each step as it happens. Doing this helps you remain present in the situation and prevents anxiety from being left in the dark
Keep in mind that a court date for appeal is not the same as your trial date. Trial dates and other steps leading up to the trial can be substantially longer than the appeal. This is what the appeal process looks like in the courtroom.
The process will take the same amount of time regardless of how solid your lawyer’s grounds for appeal are. There are several main grounds for appeal your attorney could decide to use in your motion.
Suppose your lawyer decides the jury was unfair for some reason. In that case, this could be grounds for an appeal and overturning of your case. Sometimes a jury is considered unfair if a conflict of interest between the defendant and someone on the jury panel. Race, sex, religion, and other issues can also play in an unfair jury situation.
After your sentencing, if your lawyer can find an issue with the evidence, your case could be overturned. Any lack of evidence or proof the evidence was damaged or tampered with is grounds for an appeal.
Assuming laws have changed or there have been significant changes to sentencing guidelines, your lawyer can make a motion for appeal.
Waiting for your case to be heard in an appeal situation can be stressful and frightening. It’s important to stay grounded and trust your attorney.
A solid attorney will keep a high level of communication with you and always explain every step with a certain degree of honesty. When you can rely on all these factors, the appeals process becomes easier and less stressful.
If you don’t receive the outcome you were expecting in regards to your federal appeal, all hope is not lost. This could mean it’s time to take the next step and take your case to the Supreme Court.
Speak with a appellate lawyer