If you were convicted of a crime, then it might feel like your life is over—especially if you received a prison sentence. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Just because you were convicted and even sentenced doesn’t necessarily mean its over. Depending on the nature of your conviction and your plea, you may have grounds to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal, asking them to overturn your conviction or grant a new trial.
However, while you may have the option to appeal a criminal conviction, it is not a simple process. You will need the expertise and experience of attorneys who are very familiar with the appeals process. We at Farkas & Crowley have that necessary experience to help you with your criminal appeal in Florida.
The criminal appeals process can be lengthy and complex. You must have grounds for an appeal and must present those grounds in a formal legal way. Individuals who want to proceed with an appeal must do so in a timely manner and according to court mandates. Clients often must be patient as the appeal process can take some time, depending on Court’s caseload and the number of pending appeals. Making sure to have a qualified appeals lawyer is critical.
In 2013, approximately 76 percent of all criminal appeals fell into the following top four categories:
Working with a reputable criminal defense attorney who has a successful track record with appeals will work to your benefit as your case progresses through the appeals process in Florida.
The Notice. The first step in the appeals process is to file a “Notice of Appeal” on time along with all necessary paperwork, which consists of papers, documents, transcripts, and other records with the District Court of Appeals within 30 days of a conviction. Once the notice has been filed, the court will expect a brief within a timely manner.
The Brief. Once the Notice of Appeal has been filed, now it’s time to prepare a brief. The brief is legal document that explains why the conviction was unjust including the legal error or errors that are grounds for review. A just cause and evidence that backs up your decision to appeal must be included for the brief. Opposing counsel may also be able to file an Answer Brief poking holes through the reasoning of the brief.
The Decision. Once the brief and any corresponding necessary paperwork has been filed with the District Court of Appeals, it’s time for an assigned panel of judges to review the briefs and records in a “conference” style. The panel will discuss the case thoroughly and then reach a decision.
The decision can be favorable meaning the judges agree with the reasons for appeal or denied which means they do not agree and uphold the conviction with no change. An explanation behind their decision will be provided.
If the judges’ decision is favorable, the Appellate Court will explain how it wishes the lower court (the original trial court) to proceed. Then the trial court will notify all interested parties including the original defendant of what happens next procedurally.
If your request for an appeal was denied, then this completes the appeal process at this level. However, sometimes a defendant may have the option to file another appeal to a higher court such as the state supreme court.
The criminal appeals process in the state of Florida is not for the inexperienced. It is always in your best interest to work with attorneys experienced in the criminal defense area. The legal team at the Law Office of Farkas & Crowley, P. A. fight for their clients’ rights and look out for their best interests through every step of the process.
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If you have never been involved in any type of legal or criminal proceeding in Florida, then you might be surprised to learn about the various courts in the State of Florida. If you are filing an appeal, where does your appeal go?
Here is a breakdown of the Florida courts, and the types of cases and claims that are heard at each:
So, how do you know if your case qualifies for an appeal? First and foremost, your eligibility for an appeal depends on your plea during your initial trial. For example, if you plead “guilty” to criminal charges, and were sentenced accordingly, then the likelihood of being granted an appeal is much lower.
To determine if your case really does qualify for an appeal, it’s best to discuss your situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is also experienced in criminal appeals. This could be your Farkas & Crowley criminal defense attorney if we handled your original case or seeking out Farkas & Crowley to handled your appeal because your original criminal defense attorney is not experienced enough to handle your appeal. Remember you only have 30 days from date of conviction to alert the District Court of Appeals of your intent to appeal, so you need to act quickly.
We at Farkas & Crowley will quickly review your case and if necessary file your notice of appeal by the deadline. We will then thoroughly review your case, records, and evidence, and discuss the possibility of winning your appeal.
Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.