The possibility remains that the conviction could be overturned. Maybe, the person convicted was not treated with fairness. Perhaps, the court acted unjustly when convicting the defendant of a felony. In California, the Federal appeals process exists so a wrongful conviction could be reversed.
The Federal Criminal Appeals Court
If an individual convicted of a felony in California in Federal court believes the conviction came about unfairly, he or she has the right to appeal the court’s decision. To make an appeal, one asks an even higher court to review the decision made by the lower court. After the appeal has been made, the Federal Criminal Appeals Court will review the previous records regarding the case. The Federal Criminal Appeals Court specifically looks to see if any legal errors or prejudiceness took place in the case. If the court does find that the ruling did not comply with Federal or state law, the conviction could be overturned.
The process to appeal a Federal court decision
When one has been convicted of a Federal crime in California and wishes to appeal the conviction, he or she must file the appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. A notice of appeal must be given within 14 days of when the judgement was made. A person convicted of a crime and put in prison may mail his or her notice of appeal on or before the 14 days. After the appeal to a court ruling has been made, the person making the appeal request may ask the Federal Court to set bail or reduce bail. It often is beneficial to work with a criminal defense lawyer when making a Federal appeal in California. A criminal defense attorney specifically may help an individual achieve bail or even a reduced bail fee. Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer will help his or her client present a complete record of appeal, which includes the original notice of appeal filed in the Federal district court; the original court’s transcript of the proceedings; and the complete copy of the docket of the trial proceedings. A defense attorney will aid his or her client with presenting an appellant’s brief, which explains the errors that may have taken place in the previous court. The prosecution also has the opportunity to present why the previous ruling should be upheld. Once the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has received the briefs and other important documents, arguments will be heard by each side.
A three-judge panel discusses the appeal and makes a decision based on the information presented. Typically, it takes about three to 12 months for the decision to be made known.
Two of the three Federal judges must agree on the decision before an “opinion” is given. When one appeals a Federal conviction, he or she typically is hoping to have his or her conviction overturned or the case retried. The court may decide, however, that the original ruling should stand. If the convicted individual still is not satisfied, he or she, with the help of a knowledgeable California criminal defense attorney, may decide it would be beneficial to make an appeal with the United States Supreme Court, which then will decide if it should review the case at hand.