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The United States government has its own laws and regulations which are separate from the state of Illinois. When these laws are violated then federal criminal charges are the result. When one is wrongfully convicted, due to a mistake by a federal judge or a jury, then they may take their case to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Not all attorneys are licensed in the Seventh Circuit. It is, therefore, crucial that you contact counsel immediately as you only have a limited amount of time to file. Our Chicago lawyer is federally licensed and handles such cases. Contact our Orland Park office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Appeals to the Seventh Circuit take place after one was convicted of federal criminal charges. The matter will be governed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Court will consider its own precedent and that of the United States Supreme Court. The first step in the case is to file a Notice of Appeal. The Appellant (who was the defendant at trial) will designate which parts of the District Court’s record he or she wishes to use during the appeal. The U.S. Government will designate any additional portions of the record. The Appellant will then file an opening brief, the Government will file a response, and a reply will be filed to that response. The Court will hold oral argument if it feels the case warrants and issue a decision at a later date.
It is important to understand that an appeal is a completely different process than the trial which resulted in a conviction. The Seventh Circuit will not consider new evidence. Instead, the Court will review the District Court’s record and determine whether an error of law was made. Errors of law include improperly overruling an objection, improperly allowing a witness to testify, incorrectly denying a pretrial Motion To Suppress, etc. Winning on appeal can mean having the case sent back to District Court for a new trial or even possibly an outright reversal. The process follows a very strict set of rules and procedures. It is crucial that your attorney follow these rules or your appeal may be dismissed automatically.
Michael J. Brennan is a former prosecutor with over thirty years of legal experience. He is licensed in the Seventh Circuit and experienced in appellate law. Once retained he will quickly obtain copies of the District Court’s record and analyze whether mistakes were made and how those mistakes can be attacked on appeal. He will ensure that all pleadings are timely filed, that all meaningful appealable issues are raised, and that you are put in the best possible position as the case progresses. Michael will make sure you are up to date as to the status of your case and that you know what to expect as the matter moves forward. We strive to provide a high level of service to each of our clients. Call today to speak with a Chicago criminal appeals attorney.