Losing an appeal can be very stressful, but it is important to remember that a lost appeal does not have to be the end of everything. Many cases go through several appeals, but they are still being handled by an attorney who believes that there is more to be done. Losing one appeal may give you the opportunity to appeal again, including several more times. Additionally, there are other options besides further appeals, including habeas corpus actions and the different ways in which federal, state, and district courts handle post-conviction matters.
The Federal Criminal Appeals Process
Once a direct appeal has been denied, there are options. These can include a re-hearing request to reconsider the court's decision, along with a re-hearing en banc, which asks that the full court hears the case, as opposed to a smaller panel of judges. A good appeal can be a long shot, even if the issues are well-defined. However, that does not mean that you should not appeal, or keep trying to appeal or ask for re-hearings. As you work through the process, any appeals you can get can be valuable to you and your case. However, there may come a point where your options to appeal or have a re-hearing have been exhausted.
A Writ Of Habeas Corpus
If all appeals have been completed you may feel that there is nothing more to be done, but that's not actually the case. You can still try for a writ of habeas corpus. This is designed to determine whether a person is imprisoned lawfully. If you can show that you are being held illegally, you may be released from prison on those grounds. Anyone who is imprisoned can use this method, although all other options have to be exhausted before you can use a writ of habeas corpus at the federal level. While these are not often granted, they are worth trying if there are no other options still available to you.
What Steps Can You Take To Gain Knowledge?
By working with an experienced appeals and post-conviction action lawyer, you will have the best opportunity to understand the options available in your case. Not every case is the same, and you can choose what is going to be the most likely to work for you as long as that choice is open in your case. Appeals are the most commonly used option, because they are basically open to everyone. Writs and re-hearings may be harder to obtain, but if you have a strong case you have a chance of seeing your conviction overturned. Until you and your attorney delve into everything your case involves you may not know what all will be available to you, so it's important that you seek qualified legal counsel to have the best chance at a successful resolution.