A case is not “over” at sentencing. The accused can appeal his conviction and sentence. Jeffrey Garland has handled many appeals, State and federal, for over 38 years.
There is a misconception that anyone can file a viable appeal after being sentenced. After all, every defendant is told that they have the right to file an appeal within a specified period of time. It is important to understand that an appeal which is not focused on preserved error or fundamental error will almost certainly fail. In federal appeals, unpreserved error can be reviewed as “plain error”, but the standard for review is very difficult to meet.
Every individual who proceeded to trial has possible grounds for a direct appeal. Those issues might relate to jury selection, improper admission of evidence, a lack of sufficient evidence, improper jury instructions, and improper prosecutor arguments. Such issues are best raised on direct appeal when there was a timely and sufficient objection made during the course of the proceeding.
Every potential appeal is complicated. A person seeking to appeal should employ an attorney familiar with the appellate process and who has handled numerous criminal cases on appeal.
After the direct appeals are completed, individuals still have recourse, under increasingly limited circumstances, to post-conviction relief. There are specific time periods which govern claims for post-conviction relief. These time frames are different in federal court than in State court.