Being convicted of a crime is a life-changing event. The future looks bleak as you face years in prison. You may lose your family as well as your liberty. You can hold on to hope by appealing your conviction to the next higher court. In the federal system, a conviction in a federal district court is appealed to the Circuit Court for that district.
Appealing is a time-consuming and difficult process requiring strict adherence to complex procedural rules. Although it is an uphill battle, every year, some convictions are reversed and prisoners regain their freedom or at least have their sentences reduced.
Basis for an appeal
An appellate issue arises when the trial judge makes an error during the court proceedings, whether during pretrial proceedings or at trial. Objections that were over ruled or defense motions that were denied may become appellate issues. The job of your appellate attorney is to convince the appellate court that the court’s rulings were wrong. Some of the most common appellate issues include, but are not limited to:
- The court allowed evidence to be admitted that should have been excluded.
- The court excluded evidence that should have been admitted.
- The prosecutor made improper comments throughout the trial.
- Juror challenges were improperly denied.
- Jury instructions were incorrect statements of the law.
- Rulings regarding expert testimony were wrong.
Even if the appellate court agrees that the trial court made an error, there is one more hurdle to jump over. The appellate attorney must convince the court that if the error had not been made, there would have been a different result and you would not have been convicted. This is a difficult task, and you need an experienced federal criminal defense appellate attorney working on your behalf.
The Law Office of John P. Cauley can help
Attorney John Cauley, a middle-Tennessee appeals attorney as well as a Franklin appeals attorney, has the experience you need to pursue your appeal. He knows the intricate procedural rules that must be followed in order for the higher court to even consider your substantive issues.
For a direct appeal, the issues are limited to ones found in the trial court record, including all pretrial motions that were filed and any pretrial hearings as well as the trial itself. Attorney Cauley knows how to cull the record to find the appellate issues. He is dedicated to preserving all of your constitutional rights and will work zealously on your behalf.