What issues do people raise in a federal criminal appeal?

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Matt Kaiser, a Washington DC federal criminal defense attorney at The Kaiser Law Firm PLLC (http://www.tklf.com), discusses what issues people normally raise in a federal criminal appeal.

If you'd like more information for people facing federal criminal charges, under investigation for a federal crime, or trying to appeal a criminal conviction in federal court, please visit our webpage See more +

Matt Kaiser, a Washington DC federal criminal defense attorney at The Kaiser Law Firm PLLC (http://www.tklf.com), discusses what issues people normally raise in a federal criminal appeal.

If you'd like more information for people facing federal criminal charges, under investigation for a federal crime, or trying to appeal a criminal conviction in federal court, please visit our webpage at:

http://www.thekaiserlawfirm.com

If you'd like more information, you can read our blog - which describes every published opinion in a federal criminal appeal where the defendant wins - you can read it here:

http://www.federalcriminalappealsblog.com

Video Transcript:

If you are bringing an appeal to a Federal Court in a criminal case there are really four main things that people raise in these kinds of appeals. The first thing that a lot of people raise are Pretrial Motions that were decided against them, so for example if evidence was collected against you through a search warrant or a statement to law enforcement and you file the motion in the trial court saying that that collection of evidence violated your rights into the constitution and you lost you can raise that issue again, you can say that the evidence should have been taken, should not have been taken out of your office or your house in the appellate court, you can say the district court, the trial court got it wrong when they let that evidence come in.

The second thing you can raise are evidentiary issues so if the district court judge kept someone from testifying in your defense and you thought they should have been allowed to testify, you can tell the court of appeals that the district court got it wrong on that score that the person should have been allowed to testify. The next thing you can raise is the sufficiency of the evidence. If you think the Government didn't give the jury enough evidence to find you guilty, you can raise that and bring that to the court of appeals, those can be difficult cases to win but it's an option, it's something you can raise and then finally the fourth thing that people raise most often in a federal criminal appeal is sentencing. If the process that the judge followed when he imposed sentence wasn't the right one, if it wasn't fair if he didn't listen to your arguments, he didn't listen to what you have to say about why you should get a lower sentence or he just applied the wrong law. You can tell the court of appeals that and you can ask the court of appeals to order the judge to give you a new sentence and to follow the law when he or she does that.

Video Transcript:

If you are bringing an appeal to a Federal Court in a criminal case there are really four main things that people raise in these kinds of appeals.

The first thing that a lot of people raise are Pretrial Motions that were decided against them. For example, if evidence was collected against you through a search warrant or a statement to law enforcement and you filed the motion in the trial court saying that that collection of evidence violated your rights in the constitution, and you lost, you can raise that issue again. You can say that the evidence should not have been taken out of your office or your house. In the appellate court, you can say the district court, the trial court, got it wrong when they let that evidence come in.

The second thing you can raise are evidentiary issues. So if the district court judge kept someone from testifying in your defense and you thought they should have been allowed to testify, you can tell the court of appeals that the district court got it wrong on that score that the person should have been allowed to testify.

The next thing you can raise is the sufficiency of the evidence. If you think the Government didn’t give the jury enough evidence to find you guilty, you can raise that and bring that to the court of appeals. Those can be difficult cases to win but it's an option, it's something you can raise.

Finally, the fourth thing that people raise most often in a federal criminal appeal is sentencing. If the process that the judge followed when he imposed sentence wasn’t the right one, if it wasn’t fair, if he didn’t listen to your arguments, he didn’t listen to what you have to say about why you should get a lower sentence, or he just applied the wrong law. You can tell the court of appeals that and you can ask the court of appeals to order the judge to give you a new sentence and to follow the law when he or she does that.

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