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Federal Appeals Attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta address – by appointment only:
691 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE Suite C
Atlanta, GA 30312
Linda Julin McNamara
Attorney Linda Julin McNamara
Federal Appeals Team Lead
Former Deputy Chief, Appellate Division
Elizabeth Stepp
Attorney Elizabeth K. Stepp
Federal Appeals Team Lead
Partner & Yale Graduate
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Federal Appeals Team Lead
envelope iconContact Nick

Federal convictions in Atlanta, Georgia, are extremely costly – even more so than convictions for similar state crimes. Federal sentencing guidelines are draconian and frequently carry up to decades in jail and strict mandatory minimums that guarantee time behind bars. Additionally, fines, probation, other monetary penalties, and the collateral consequences of a conviction will all stack up against you to continue to punish you after your sentence has been served.

Appealing a conviction is essential.

The federal criminal appeals attorneys at the national law firm Oberheiden P.C. have extensive experience representing clients who want to appeal their criminal convictions, including in Atlanta, Georgia.

Federal Criminal Trials and Atlanta’s District Court

If you get accused of a federal offense in Atlanta, your case will be heard by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia from your arraignment through your criminal trial. While this district court has four locations, you will typically go through the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse at 75 Ted Turner Drive in downtown Atlanta.

Most federal criminal charges are resolved through a plea deal. Defendants who take a plea bargain often receive relatively lighter sentences in exchange for giving up their rights to contest the charges against them. However, they also often have to waive their rights to appeal the conviction that the plea deal leads to.

If you do not take a plea deal, your case will go to trial. In the best situations, you can successfully overcome the prosecutor’s case against you and secure a not-guilty verdict from the jury. If you are convicted for the offense, though, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled in the district court. There, the judge will impose the sentence that you will serve.

At this point, though, you have the right to appeal your conviction, your sentence, or both.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Appeals in Atlanta are Heard by the Eleventh Circuit Court

If you want to appeal your case and continue to fight for your rights and your freedom, you have to decide quickly: Paperwork needs to be filed in the district court in Atlanta within 14 days.

Called the Notice of Appeal, this paperwork informs the court and the prosecutor that the case is not over and that you are seeking the review of a federal appellate court. The district court will preserve the record of your trial and send it to the appellate court that has jurisdiction to hear your case.

In Atlanta, that court is the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This federal appellate court has jurisdiction over Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, as well as the states of Florida and Alabama. While there are four courthouses scattered around the Eleventh Circuit’s territory, one of them is in downtown Atlanta, in the Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse at 56 Forsyth Street, N.W.

While your personal, physical presence is rarely required for an appeal, the convenient location can make things easier for you and your appellate lawyer during this stressful part of the process.

What to Expect During Your Appeal

The most important thing to know about appealing a federal criminal conviction is that you will not receive a new trial in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Instead, the Eleventh Circuit will review the district court’s ruling for legal or procedural errors that affected the outcome of your case.

It is up to you and your appeals lawyer to persuade the appellate judges on the Eleventh Circuit that these errors were made and that they caused you to be wrongfully convicted.

There are a wide variety of issues that can come up during a criminal trial that can lead to your wrongful conviction, including:

  • Juror bias or misconduct
  • Misapplication of the law
  • An abuse of the judge’s discretion
  • The evidence could not possibly support the conviction or sentence
  • Ambiguous legal requirements or an unsettled area of the law leave doubts about the results

Your appeals judge will have a good idea of which issue to pursue on appeal. In many cases, there is more than one option.

After having isolated a grounds for your appeal, your appellate judge will research and write a legal brief that details for the Eleventh Circuit judges what went wrong during your trial, why it was incorrect, and how the appeals court can fix it. The prosecutor will be writing his or her own legal brief, arguing that nothing went wrong and urging the appeals court to affirm the district court’s conviction.

Occasionally, the judges on the Eleventh Circuit will schedule an oral argument after receiving these conflicting briefs. This is especially common if the case is complex and the judges have questions that were not answered in the briefs. If an oral argument is scheduled, your appeals lawyer will present your case to the appellate judges and answer any questions that they have, advocating on your behalf throughout the process.

With all the necessary information, the judges on the Eleventh Circuit will release their binding opinion on the case. If they agree with your defense team, they will overturn the district court’s ruling and will generally remand it back to the district court with instructions on how to proceed. In some cases, you will get a new trial. If the judges agree with the prosecutor, they will affirm your conviction and sentence.

If your conviction is affirmed, you can request a rehearing before a larger panel of Eleventh Circuit judges. You can also petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear your case, as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oberheiden P.C. and Federal Appeals

When Should I Contact a Federal Appeals Lawyer?


It depends on your case and situation but generally, at the very latest, you should get an appeals lawyer on board as soon as possible after learning your sentence.

In many cases, you should get an appellate attorney involved much sooner. If your trial lawyer tells you that your case involves a novel or unsettled area of the law, then an eventual appeal should be at the front of your mind. Hiring an appeals lawyer while the trial is still ongoing may seem strange, but it can help your trial attorney preserve the best issues for appeal, setting up the best appellate strategy available to you.

The most important thing, though, is to not delay. Deadlines are tight when appealing a criminal conviction. If you wait, it may be too late.

Are Trial and Appeals Lawyers Different?


Yes. The goals and the subject matter of a trial are extremely different than what you will face on appeal. As a result, the skill sets that make for a good litigator are not well suited for appeals work.

Why Should I Consider Oberheiden P.C. to Handle My Appeal?


There are several ways that Oberheiden P.C. stands out from the competition in Atlanta. Two of them are the experience of our lawyers and our firm’s federal focus.

Oberheiden P.C. is one of the only firms that only hires senior attorneys. While lots of other firms have exceptionally experienced lawyers, they support them with legions of junior associates and paralegals. Those less experienced staff members end up doing the lion’s share of the work on a given case. It is not unusual for defendants to hire a criminal defense firm for the experience of one attorney, only to not see him or her again until the eve of trial.

That does not happen at Oberheiden P.C. We only employ senior attorneys. All of the work that gets done on your appeal is performed by someone who has extensive experience in cases like your own.

Additionally, most other firms focus on state criminal charges. When these firms take on federal cases, they are often overwhelmed by the manpower they are facing. At Oberheiden P.C., most of our practice is in federal court. We are accustomed to going up against these massive law enforcement agencies on behalf of our clients.

Why Don’t You Call Your Firm the Best in Atlanta?


We don’t because statements like these are better answered by the testimonials of our prior clients.

Oberheiden P.C.: Appeals Lawyers for Defendants in Atlanta, Georgia

The federal appeals lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. have effectively represented the interests of numerous defendants before federal appellate courts across the country, including before the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. With the help of our senior attorneys, defendants have overturned convictions and mitigated sentences for a wide assortment of criminal offenses, including:

Just because the district court has convicted you does not mean that your case is over. You have the right to keep fighting for your future. The federal appeals lawyers at Oberheiden P.C. can help you get the outcome that you want. Contact us online or call our law office at 404-738-6630 immediately so we can get started on your case, file the necessary paperwork before the deadline passes, and determine the best way to move forward.

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