When you’re convicted of a crime and wish to challenge the validity of that conviction, there is a process of appeal that needs to be followed. This legal process can often be complex and time-consuming.
This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if your loved one is in prison while they await the outcome of the appeal process. Why does it take so long for a federal conviction appeal to be heard and concluded, and is this, in fact, a good thing?
Each case needs to be considered carefully and in full
The federal courts are incredibly busy, which means it can take a long time to have a case heard. At any one time, there can be hundreds of appeals waiting to be allocated to a judge for their consideration.
One positive reason a case might take longer than you expect is that the judges recognize the importance of this process and want to take their time reviewing every case in detail. This is particularly important if a case is unique in its facts or has the potential to set a legal precedent.
Some cases are considered on written briefs alone, whereas others will also involve oral arguments. Either way, this will require the judge to read and consider every argument as well as carry out their own legal research and investigation. Briefs can be significant in size, especially if the case was ongoing for a long time or is particularly complex. It can take a judge a while simply to understand the facts of each case.
Given the importance of the outcome of a federal criminal appeal, it’s essential to have legal assistance with putting it together. If you or your loved one wants to appeal a federal conviction, it’s necessary to move quickly to abide by the strict timescales set down.