Need an experienced federal trial attorney to appeal the verdict on a federal case? Call our Chicago criminal defense lawyers today at (312) 466-9466.
Appeals, including federal appeals, are very different from trial work. An appeal takes place when a person who has been convicted of a crime asks the court of appeals to review the decision to find him guilty or the sentence. That person may argue that the court committed a mistake or that the jury reached the wrong decision. He does so by obtaining a record of the trial court proceedings, including a transcript. A transcript is the typed record of what was said. Lawyers cannot introduce new evidence or ask witnesses additional questions. The appeal is limited to whatever took place at the trial court level. Any issue not raised before or during the trial will be considered waived or given up by the appellate court. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced federal trial attorney like Steven R. Hunter trying your case. An attorney should always be trying to win, but should also be making a record and preserving issues in case an appeal becomes necessary.
Based on the transcript and record of pre-trial and trial proceedings, the person appealing files a paper, called a brief, in which he argues that the decision to convict was wrong or the trial was unfair in some way. The person appealing can ask for the decision to be reversed and a finding of not guilty entered, or can request that the case be sent back, or remanded, for a new trial, depending on what he has argued. The prosecution files a reply brief that opposes the defendant's brief. After briefs are filed, the Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in which the court typically asks each lawyer questions about the facts and applicable law surrounding the case. Appeals are usually heard by three appellate court justices. If a person loses the appeal, he can ask the entire appellate court to rehear the decision, or he can ask the Supreme Court of the United States to review the decision.
The Supreme Court only agrees to review about 75-100 cases each year, or about 1-2% of the applications it receives. To apply for Supreme Court review, an attorney writes and files what is called a Petition for Writ of Certiorari. In that Petition, he must state why the Supreme Court should review the case.
The Law Office of Steven R. Hunter primarily handles criminal trials, but does take on criminal appeals whenever necessary. Appeals require strong legal research and writing skills, which Steven R. Hunter has acquired through a top flight legal education and over 21 years of experience. If you or a loved one is considering an appeal after a conviction in federal court, call our office today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you.