Direct Appeals

If you have decided to appeal your recent conviction, it’s important that your defense attorney has prior successful experience in filing direct appeals. The attorneys of the Federal Criminal Law Center highly experienced in the appeals process, having an excellent track record at both the state and federal levels.

Understanding Direct Appeals

Whenever you are convicted of a crime, yoDirect Appealsu have the legal right to appeal your conviction; this is true in every state, as well as at the federal level. This is known as an “as of right” appeal, or a direct appeal to the higher courts. If your trial took place in a state court, you’ll appeal your case to the state appeals court; if yours was a federal trial, your appeal will be made to the federal Circuit Court of Appeals for your district.

In a direct appeal, your attorney submits a written brief explaining specifically why your case needs to be reviewed and/or your conviction overturned, whether due to court errors, negligence or miscarriage of justice. In many cases, the appeals court judges will decide based on the written brief alone; in others, your attorney may be allowed to present a short oral argument in court. If the appellate judges find merit in your attorney’s arguments, they may either remand the case to the lower course for corrections and resentencing, or overturn the verdict completely. If they do not agree with your appeal, they will uphold the verdict, at which point it usually becomes final. In rare cases, you may have cause to appeal the case to the state or federal Supreme Court, who reviews cases at their own discretion.


Direct appeals should not be confused with collateral appeals. With direct appeals, you are enforcing your right to appeal, and the appellate court must review your case. Collateral appeals, on the other hand, are post-trial motions made to the lower court, which can be affirmed or declined at the court’s discretion. There are specific instances in which each type of appeal is appropriate, and your attorney can guide you as to which strategy you should implement.

Our Experience with Direct Appeals

Because in most cases the word of the appellate court is final, it is of the utmost importance to have an attorney in your corner who understands the complexities of direct appeals and the court processes. With many years of proven experience at both the state and federal levels, the attorneys of the Federal Criminal Law Center are thoroughly knowledgeable in the inner workings of the appellate courts, as demonstrated by their track record of success.