Your Appeal Is Your Last Best Chance To Right A Wrong

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Who can appeal a federal case, and why would they do so?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Federal Appeals

Federal appeals are fairly common. For instance, the U.S. court system typically takes on over 50,000 annual appeals cases. Most of the time, the decisions made in these courts are final, but some people will appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court usually only looks at around 100 cases annually, so it is unlikely that most cases will even reach this level.

But if there are 50,000 appeals every year, you may find yourself wondering why someone would appeal and who is even allowed to do so. Let’s take a quick look at how the process works.

Who can appeal the verdict?

The only person who can appeal a verdict is the defendant. If they’re found guilty, they can appeal that the law was applied incorrectly, for instance. However, if they are found not guilty, the government does not have the right to appeal the case. The not-guilty verdict would be binding. 

Why would they appeal a sentence?

When it comes to appealing the sentence, though, either side can do so. They can start that appeal because the law was applied incorrectly or because the sentence itself is in violation of current laws. They may also say that sentencing guidelines were not followed properly by the court. So the defendant could appeal a sentence they believe is too strict, but the government could also appeal if they feel that the sentence is too lenient.

This does make the appeals process fairly complex. Those who are going through it must be well aware of the legal options at their disposal.