ClickCease Parkland Federal Appeals Lawyer | (954) 866-3395
1,200+
Federal Cases Defended
Se Habla Español*Call 24x7
Joffe Law, P.A. Federal Defense Lawyer Parkland Parkland Federal Appeals Attorney

Parkland Federal Appeals Attorney

Local criminal defense lawyer for tough federal charges

A conviction may seem like the end of the road for a case in federal criminal court. However, for defendants who are still seeking justice, conviction marks the beginning of a whole new phase: the federal appeals process. Although federal appellate courts are limited in the scope of information they may review, the appeals process can take several months and even more than a year from filing the first notice to receiving the court’s decision. The process requires an especially experienced and skilled Parkland federal defense lawyer who knows how to win at the federal appellate stage. David Joffe is South Florida’s trusted federal appeals lawyer. Reach out to us 24/7 for unparalleled legal expertise and support in filing your federal criminal appeal.

When to file a federal appeal

Although errors may arise at any point during a trial, federal criminal court defendants must wait until the conclusion of the trial to file an appeal. A guilty verdict by the trial court automatically triggers the defendant’s right to appeal with a higher-ranking court. Defendants who want to appeal the trial court’s decision must file a notice within 14 days of the issuance of a guilty verdict. Having a capable federal defense attorney by your side means leaving the formalities and deadlines to a qualified legal professional.

Federal appellate courts

When a defendant files an appeal in Parkland FL, the trial court that convicted the defendant will not be the same court that decides the appeal. In the federal court system, the U.S. is divided into geographic regions that generally consist of a few states per region. These regions are called circuits, and each circuit has one appellate court. Currently, there are 13 circuit courts that correspond to each region. Florida, Georgia, and Alabama comprise the 11th Circuit. Therefore, when a Parkland FL defendant files a federal appeal, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is the venue. The 11th Circuit Court is located in Atlanta. However, geography is generally not a problem for appellants because appellate cases do not require the defendant to appear before the court. In fact, most federal appeals are decided without the attorneys on either side making an appearance. Because appellate courts only request attorney appearances if the judges have questions, defendants should choose a Parkland federal appeals lawyer who can be highly persuasive in his or her writing.

Appealing beyond the circuit court

Defendants who do not win their case on appeal may file a request for their case to be heard by the Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest-ranking appellate court in the country. Cases may take two paths to reach the Supreme Court. Federal cases may be heard by the Supreme Court if one of the parties further appeals the case after losing at the circuit court level. Most state court systems also have their own version of the Supreme Court, though the courts’ official names may vary slightly. In most states, the highest-ranking state level appellate court is the state supreme court. If the state supreme court rules against a party, the losing party may file a petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

To have a case reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the party who wishes to appeal must formally request a review by filing a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court will only grant cert if at least four justices agree to hear the case. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court mostly decides to take on cases that have national implications or that settle widely-contested areas of law. Otherwise stated, the Supreme Court grants cert to a very small fraction of the requests it receives for cert each year.

Just Arrested in Parkland?
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.

Filing a federal appeal

The federal appeals process begins when the defense files a Notice of Appeal. Generally, the defense must file a Notice of Appeal within 14 days of the trial court issuing a guilty verdict. Filing after 14 days may result in automatic denial of the opportunity to file the appeal. Once the appellate court receives the Notice of Appeal, the appellate court will schedule a deadline by which each side must submit its appellate brief. When a case goes to the appellate court, the defendant’s title changes from “defendant” to “appellant.”

Appellate courts are required to leave fact-finding to the trial court. Therefore, appellate court judges are limited to reviewing transcripts of the proceedings that took place at the trial court level. The defendant and the prosecution are not permitted to call witnesses or enter new evidence into the record at the appellate court level.

The defense is responsible for supplying transcripts of the previous court proceedings for the appellate court reviews. Ultimately, both the defense and the prosecution must jointly decide what should be included in the record the appellate court will examine for errors.

Grounds for filing a federal appeal

Filing a federal appeal does not automatically grant the defendant access to a new trial. Appellate courts may only review the information that is contained within the four corners of the trial court transcripts. Specifically, appellate courts can only make rulings based on whether a legal error took place when the case was at trial. The legal error must be relevant enough to have affected the defendant’s outcome in the case.

Experienced federal appeals attorneys choose the strongest potential legal errors that give rise to the most compelling arguments on appeal. Some of the most common grounds for federal criminal appeals are:

  • wrong jury instructions
  • wrongful conviction
  • procedural violations
  • problems with evidence
  • excessive sentence

Jury instruction errors

In jury trials, the judge gives the jury critical instructions that contain the information juries need to help them decide on a verdict. An error in the jury instruction can easily have an unfair negative impact on a defendant’s case. Juries are generally composed of everyday people who have no background in law. In addition to legal errors, there are other issues that can make it difficult for a jury to interpret the jury instructions and apply the law. Common problems with jury instructions include:

  • incorrect statements of law
  • biased instructions
  • misinterpretation of evidence
  • ambiguous language
  • omission of key instructions

The average person who is on trial is unlikely to recognize a problem with the instructions the jury receives prior to deciding the verdict. Having a reputable Parkland federal appeals attorney throughout the trial process can make it easier for you to file an appeal based on legal errors you may have missed.

Appealing a wrongful conviction

The criminal system is not perfect. Unfortunately, it is not impossible for a federal court to convict a defendant who did not commit the crime as charged. The federal appeals process allows wrongfully convicted defendants to directly appeal the erroneous conviction. One challenge to appealing a wrongful conviction is the short frame of time within which a defendant may file a Notice of Appeal. Oftentimes the evidence attorneys need to prove the defendant did not commit the crime emerges long after the trial has ended. In these cases, an attorney may choose another legal option for post-conviction relief. Nevertheless, in instances in which the defense has immediate knowledge of additional evidence of the defendant’s innocence, the defense attorney is more likely to file an appeal based on wrongful conviction.

Appeals based on procedural violations

Federal courts, lawyers, and law enforcement agents must follow a very strict set of rules throughout the criminal process. These rules are known as the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. A violation of a procedural rule may be grounds for the defendant to successfully appeal a decision made by the trial court. Joffe Law will thoroughly advocate for you at every step in the federal criminal court process. If a procedural violation occurs, our attorney will fight for your rights to a fair outcome in your case.

Evidentiary problems in a Florida federal criminal case

Prosecutors must carefully ensure any evidence they introduce to be used against a defendant complies with the rules of criminal procedure and does not violate the defendant’s rights. Some common evidentiary issues include:

  • the evidence was hearsay and not a direct statement from an original source
  • the evidence is irrelevant to the trial
  • the evidence violates the defendant’s constitutional rights
  • the evidence is false or misleading

If you believe you were convicted based on problematic evidence, your Florida federal appeals lawyer can take the right steps to challenge the legality of the evidence. A win based on illegal evidence at the appellate court level may result in the conviction being overturned or the defendant receiving a new trial.

Appealing an excessive sentence

The Eighth Amendment declares that no convicted defendant shall be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment for a crime. A criminal defense attorney may challenge unfair sentencing by filing a direct appeal after conviction. Attorneys are more likely to file an appeal based on the grounds of excessive sentencing if:

  • the defendant is a minor
  • the defendant was declared legally insane
  • the sentence is the death penalty

A successful appeal may result in sentence modification, revocation, or the appellate court ordering a new trial for the defendant. Joffe Law will fight on your behalf to protect you from unfair sentencing.

Federal appellate court review

Federal circuit courts differ substantially from trial courts. In terms of format, a federal circuit court consists of a panel of three federal judges. Most federal judges are highly accomplished in their field and have been appointed by a former or current U.S. president. When a case goes to the circuit court on appeal, the assigned panel of three judges will preside over the case. After the appellant and appellee submit their appellate briefs, the judges will review each brief along with the trial court record. If the judges have questions, the appellate court will schedule a time for the attorneys to make oral arguments and schedule a time for each attorney to appear before the court.

Oral arguments at the appellate court level consist of each attorney receiving a limited allotment of time, which is often 15 minutes, to present their case. During the time allotment, the appellate judges ask questions of the presenting attorney Q&A-style. In addition to having incredibly strong writing abilities to produce a compelling appellate brief, your Parkland federal appeals lawyer should also have the ability to shine and remain undaunted in the event the appellate court schedules oral arguments.

Potential outcomes of a federal criminal appeal

When a federal criminal case goes to an appellate court, the appellate court’s do one of three things: reverse the trial court’s decision, remand the case back to the trial court, or affirm the trial court’s decision. A reversal may result in an overturned conviction or a new trial for the defendant. If the appellate court issues a reversal that does not automatically overturn the trial court’s decision, the appellate court may reverse and remand the case back to the trial court with further instructions. If the defendant loses on appeal, the appellate court will affirm the decision of the lower court.

Parkland federal appeals lawyer

Joffe Law is Parkland’s trusted attorney when it comes to winning federal appeals. Our thoroughly experienced team will leverage its professional relationships and legal expertise on your behalf to challenge your conviction. Contact us to request a case evaluation.

Other Parkland practice areas

Parkland drug trafficking defense lawyers
White collar crime attorney in Parkland
Parkland sex crimes lawyer
Child pornography defense lawyer Parkland


Frequently Asked Questions
about federal appeals

Do I have to work with the same attorney who represented me during my trial if I want to file an appeal?

If you are dissatisfied with the way your attorney represented you during your trial, you have the right to hire a new lawyer. Contact Joffe Law to discuss your legal goals.

How often are federal appeals successful?

Only a small percentage of criminal cases win on appeal in the federal court system. However, the circuit courts receive a large volume of cases that may or may not have strong legal arguments each year.

What happens if a defendant loses on appeal?

The direct appeal isn’t the only legal option defendants have after a federal conviction. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with post-conviction relief.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.