Motions for Appeal Under 28 USC 2255

How to file a 2255 Motion to Set Aside Sentence?

This is a very big question to answer, but the question that needs to be answered first is, “Can and should I file a §2255?”

Again, this is a massive answer, however it is just as important as how to file. A motion of this sort is actually an appeal, without being a direct appeal. It is considered a collateral attack on the sentence of incarceration itself for constitutional problems.

Only federal defendants who are currently incarcerated can file one. The normal course of criminal cases in the federal criminal system involves a direct appeal. Second, when a direct appeal doesn’t work, was never filed, is not appropriate to the issue(s), or simply doesn’t meet the needs of the defendant, a §2255 is the way to go.

In order to be eligible to file one of these types of appeals, a few criteria need to be met:

  1. Only incarcerated federal inmates may file;
  2. Complaints cannot be made if they could have been made on direct appeal;
  3. Complaints must be an attack on the sentence itself, and not issues related to confinement (such as RDAP acceptance, placement in halfway house, or holdings in Solitary/SHU);

If you would like to learn more about filing federal appeals, and what these motions can and cannot do, visit PCR Consultants for a full report.

You can also give us a call at (480) 382-9287 for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your questions about §2255 appeals.

The PCR Consultants Team Federal Appeals

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