Federal Criminal Appeals


Information About Federal Criminal Appeals

This page explains how federal criminal appeals work and answers basic questions about federal criminal appeals.

Before we get to the details of these appeals, please know that if you’re going to appeal, make sure you file a notice of appeal

If you are going to appeal a federal criminal case, the very first thing you should do is file a notice of appeal. You have only 14 days to file a notice of appeal from when sentence is imposed. If you know that you want to appeal, do not wait to hire a lawyer to file the notice of appeal.

There is one exception to this. If you got a particularly good sentence, well below what the government was asking for, you may cause the federal prosecutor to file a cross-appeal if you appeal. If that happens, you could wind up with a harsher sentence after the appeal.  If you know that you want to appeal, you should file the notice immediately.

If you’ve just been found guilty:

If you came here because you, or a loved one, have just been convicted of federal charges, you should probably start by reading this page about what to do if you’ve just been convicted in federal court.