Federal and state authorities have waged a war on illegal narcotics and other substances for several decades. While it is hard to say which side is winning, the consequences for federal drug convictions are harsher than ever before.
Prison sentences for convictions at the federal level are infamously long and usually come with expensive fines. If you believe you were wrongfully convicted, an appeal is your next step, but there are several things you should know about the federal appeals process.
You may not be able to introduce new evidence
You may feel hopeful about a pending appeal because your legal team uncovered evidence supporting your side of the case. Unfortunately, most appeals (excluding some habeas corpus cases) do not allow the introduction of evidence. The process is generally about reviewing your trial for errors that may have compromised its outcome.
Experienced guidance is a wise choice
Instead of using the same representation you had in your trial, consider seeking counsel from someone specializing in appellate law. Appeal proceedings bear little resemblance to courtroom trials. A specifically trained and experienced representative may substantially improve your odds of success.
What are the possible outcomes?
A federal narcotics conviction appeal can end in several ways, the most crushing outcome being failure. If you are successful, the judicial panel may:
- Order a new trial on your behalf
- Reverse your conviction altogether
- Modify your sentence from your trial
If your first appeal fails, you must continue fighting for the justice you deserve. Since many do not yield success on the first attempt, work with your counsel to explore all your appeal options.