Postconviction Tips


Federal Criminal Appeal Primer

Attorneys Alan Ellis and Karen L. Landau discuss ways in which federal criminal defendants, who have been convicted of a crime, either after a guilty plea or a trial, may challenge a conviction or sentence. The article, which first appeared in the Criminal Justice, Spring 2002 Edition, answers the following questions:

  • Who is entitled to a direct appeal?
  • What issues can be raised on appeal?
  • How does a sentencing appeal differ from an appeal of underlying conviction?
  • What are some of the obstacles a defendant may encounter in litigating an appeal?
  • How does a direct appeal differ from a section 2255 motion?
  • How and where do you file an appeal?
  • Do any special rules apply to appeals?
  • How long will it take?
  • What are the briefs?
  • What is oral argument?
  • How is the appeal decided?
  • Can a defendant give up the right to appeal?
  • What happens if the defendant wins?
  • What happens if the defendant loses?

Click to read the article.

About Alan Ellis
Alan Ellis is a criminal defense lawyer with offices in San Francisco and New York, with 50 years of experience as a practicing lawyer, law professor and federal law clerk. He is a nationally recognized authority in the fields of federal plea bargaining, sentencing, prison matters, appeals, habeas corpus 2255 motions and international criminal law.

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