When a federal court convicts you of a crime, it does not mean you need to give up. There is always a possibility of overturning your conviction on appeal. However, doing so is not as straightforward as you might hope.
Everyone makes mistakes, including the police, judges and juries. What if new evidence comes along that points to your innocence? What if you had evidence that you thought tended to create reasonable doubt but it was kept out of trial?
Appellate courts may not accept new evidence
If you have new evidence, you need to file an appeal in an appellate court. If they agree that your evidence is significant enough to change the verdict, they may order a retrial during which you can present that evidence. If the court does not consider the evidence significant enough to affect the outcome, they are likely to reject your appeal.
Another reason an appeal court may accept an appeal based on new evidence is if you can show that the judge in the trial court made an error by not allowing the exculpatory evidence you had into the trial. You will also need to show that their reasons for refusing to accept it were legally unsound or unjustifiable.
Should you file an appeal on your conviction?
If you were wrongfully convicted, you absolutely deserve the chance to appeal — especially when there’s evidence that should have been included in the original trial. The appellate process is never particularly easy, but it’s well worth the effort if you manage to obtain a new trial in the end.