June 19, 2024

Todd and Julie Chrisley’s lawyer is speaking out after his clients began their prison sentences on Tuesday.

Alex Little of Burr & Forman LLP — the attorney for Todd, 53, and Julie, 50 — opened up about the alleged missteps by federal prosecutors that may help the Chrisley Knows Best stars in appealing to their convictions.

“The very beginning of this case there was an unconstitutional search by the Georgia Department of Revenue,” Little claimed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “This court’s already found that was unconstitutional and it should’ve stopped the whole case in its tracks. That didn’t happen. And that’s certainly one of the things we’re pursuing on the appeal.”

“The second piece is, one of the IRS officers tested about whether the Chrisleys had paid certain taxes,” he continued. “That certainly, we think, affected the jury and we believe it will be the basis for a new trial.”

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Little also addressed the decision to pursue an appeal in an effort to get justice for his clients.

“There are different players in each step in a criminal prosecution,” Little told ET. “You’ve got the prosecutor who brings a case. You’ve got the jury and the judge that try the case, then you’ve got the appeals court. Its purpose is to review what that court — the prior court — has done .”

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He continued, “Those are different people, and you can believe that you are sort of harmed at the lower levels and can be hopeful that [the appeals court] will stop when you move on along the appeal.”

The attorney maintained that his clients wanted to prove their innocence and show “they are the same people they’ve always been.”

“That they didn’t do these things and that they’re going to fight to get their name cleared,” he added.

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Little defended the reality stars over claims they did not show remorse amid the legal proceedings.

“It’s certainly true that the courts want to hear the defendants accept responsibility,” he explained. “But it’s also hard to accept responsibility when you haven’t done what you’re accused of doing.”

“It’s a difficulty any innocent person faces when they are convict and sentenced,” he continued. “I’ve had people who have been found not guilty of murder a decade later and that whole time some courts believed they weren’t showing remorse when they were actually innocent. So, it’s always a dilemma for anybody who’s wrongfully convicted.”

On Tuesday, Todd checked into the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola to begin his 12-year prison sentence, while Julie reported to the Federal Correctional Institution and Federal Prison Camp Marianna to serve out her seven-year sentence.

The Chrisleys were sentenced in November after a jury convicted the couple in June of a multimillion dollar bank fraud and tax evasion scheme. Both Todd and Julie have also been ordered to serve an additional 16 months of probation following release from prison.

RELATED VIDEO: Chase Chrisley Affirms ‘God Is with Us’ as Parents Julie and Todd Spend First Day in Prison

Following the sentencing, Little said the family was “optimistic” for the future as they planned to appeal the convictions in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“Yesterday was a difficult day for the Chrisley family. But Todd and Julie are people of faith, and that faith gives them strength as they appeal to their convictions,” Little said. “Their trial was marred by serious and repeated errors, including the government lying to judges about what taxes the couple paid. Based on these issues, we are optimistic about the road ahead.”

Their daughter Lindsie Chrisley’s attorney Musa Ghanayem told PEOPLE in December what could potentially happen to Todd and Julie during their appeal process.

“The legal process would be if a new trial was ordered, they’d have to go through the whole process again,” he said. “If there was an issue that was incorrect, it can be sent back down to be corrected[ed]. Usually, the appellate panel will make a decision, make a ruling, and sometimes send it back down to enforce that ruling.”

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PEOPLE has reached out to Little for additional comments on the Chrisleys’ appeal.