federal criminal appeal

How Long Does It Take For A Federal Criminal Appeal To Be Decided By The Court

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

How long does the appeals process take?

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.

An appeal takes how long? The Process Broken Down

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.

  • After your sentencing date, your lawyer needs to file a motion of appeal. This motion needs to be filed within ten days of your sentencing. The motion is just the act of letting the court know you plan to appeal.
  • Once the courts are aware of your plan to appeal, your lawyer has thirty days to file the actual appeal.
  • After the courts receive the appeal, a copy is forwarded to the prosecutor. The prosecutor has thirty days to file a written response to your appeal.
  • Appeals are entered into the court calendar after the appeal is received and the prosecutor’s response is logged and reviewed by the judge. How long does an appeal take from here? From this point, it can take three to four months before the case ends up on the docket.
  • Once the judge has read the briefs of the case and heard oral deposition and argument from both sides, he may take as much time as he needs to decide the outcome of the appeal.

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.

How Long Does an Appeal Take with a Good Lawyer?

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

How Long Does an Appeal Take on the Day of Court?

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.

  • Your attorney doesn’t present evidence or examine and cross-examine witnesses like a trial.
  •  Your attorney will write long legal briefs.
  • Your lawyer’s best arguments are presented to the judge orally in a short hearing. Your lawyer’s argument will all be based on the grounds for appeal.

How Long Does an Appeal Take On the Right Grounds for Appeal?

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.

1.  Appeal Based on an Unfair Jury

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. There may be a conflict of interest between a defendant and someone on a jury. Race, sex, religion, and other issues can also play in an unfair jury situation.

2.  Appeal Based on Lack of Evidence

An appeal based on lack of evidence is a legal strategy that challenges the sufficiency of the evidence presented during the trial. The appellant (the party appealing) argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support the verdict or judgment rendered by the trial court.

3.  Appeal Based on New Laws/Sentencing Guidelines

Assuming laws have changed or there have been significant changes to sentencing guidelines, your lawyer can make a motion for appeal.

You may feel anxious and stressed while waiting to hear your appeal case (decision). It is 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.

You shouldn’t lose hope if your federal appeal doesn’t go as expected. This could mean it’s time to take the next step and take your case to the Supreme Court.












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