I would like to know about how long does an appeal take and if they're successful. Also, since I have a 20 year sentence, will I have to complete all years or will I be eligible for parole for good time? My lousy attorney hasn't been answering me even though I gave him adequate amount of money in the beginning. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Please know that appealing your criminal case to the 5th District Court of Appeals (which feeds from both your county, mine, and others) and seeing it through to conclusion could take a couple of years. There are so many variables that come into play that nobody will be able to realistically quote you an exact time frame - especially without being familiar with your particular case. If you are unhappy with your trial attorney, you should seek new counsel. There is nothing which requires you to keep your trial attorney on for any appeal(s). Whether or not he has done anything wrong, if you aren't happy with that individual, find another attorney. There are plenty to choose from.
The above advice is intended to be educational only. Any legal issue(s) should be brought to the attention of a licensed and qualified attorney in your state of residence. No attorney-client relationship exists or should be construed to exist by virtue of this post.
An appeal typically takes 16 to 18 months however each case is different and there is no way to predict exactly how long your appeal will take. Good luck
Criminal Defense Attorney
As the other attorneys said, an appeal can take years. Whether or not you are eligible for parole depends on the exact details of your sentence. Whether your attorney has an obligation to you now may depend not just on how much money you paid him, but also on what your contract with him was for- I try to be clear on my contracts whether they include appeals work or not.
You may have a bar complaint with him.
If you are indigent, which is possible if you are imprisoned for 20 years, you may qualify to have the public defender's office take your appeal. I believe the 5th circuit has a very good office just for appeals. They get a lot of appeals in the 5th.
Also, I have to be honest, since you did ask, very few appeals are successful.
Are most appeals successful? No. Most appeals are unsuccessful. But a respectable percentage of them do result in some relief.
My colleagues are correct, appeals take a very long time and the majority are unsuccessful.
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions