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Federal trial vs. federal appeal: what’s the difference and why do you need a lawyer?
July 26, 2022

The federal court system includes both trials and appeals. Small federal courts have been established throughout the United States as facets of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Unlike the state court system, federal courts deal with articles detailed in the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and large-scale disputes between American citizens who reside in different states.

If you plan on going to court for either a trial or an appeal, it is important to know exactly what each of these processes entail and how you can legally protect yourself. At Candela Law Firm, our federal appeal lawyers in Tampa, FL are here to support you throughout your hearing.

Are you unclear on the differences between a federal trial and a federal appeal? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about these two types of hearings and why we recommend hiring a lawyer.

Federal trials

A federal trial is a process whereby a prosecutor and a defendant are required to appear in front of a judge for the purpose of determining guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or lack thereof for a federal crime. During this process, each party will have an opportunity to either represent themselves or to have a lawyer speak on their behalf. In serious cases, this process often takes place in front of a jury. A jury is always composed of 12 U.S. citizens who are deemed fit to participate in the trial. Juror eligibility is based upon a lack of personal bias in relation to the case, no evidence of a medical condition that may prevent the individual from performing a fair assessment, and several other factors.

Once the trial begins, both the prosecutor and the defendant will be able to present witnesses and examine other forms of evidence such as forensic material, alibis, and more. No matter how strong your case may be, the opposing lawyer may apply a variety of persuasion tactics that could sway the jury in favor of their client. Therefore, regardless of your position as either the accuser or the accused, it is crucial to hire a reputable attorney who has experience handling similar cases.

Federal appeals

Each of 12 regional districts in the judicial court system include a court of appeals in which those who have been charged with a federal crime can attempt to have a decision revoked or altered. This process is essential to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, as it provides the wrongfully accused with an opportunity to seek justice. Appellate courts do not, however, offer people who are found guilty the opportunity to add new testimonies or other materials to the body of evidence collected during their trial. Rather, the appeal process is in place simply to prove or disprove the validity of the trial that took place.

With the help of an appeal attorney, the accused may be able to persuade the judge in favor of a lesser sentence or certain cases, result in an acquittal. Representing oneself is possible during a federal appeal, however it is not advisable given the amount of legal documentation and strategies that need to be applied in order to produce a favorable response. Typically, there is only one higher court in which an appeal may be filed, however in rare cases, it may be possible to request more than one appeal.

Our federal appeal lawyers in Tampa, FL have represented thousands of clients throughout a variety of complex cases. If you are ready to file for appeal, our team is just a phone call away. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.

Federal appeal lawyers in Tampa, FL in a courtroom
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