17 Oct 23

When Should I Hire a Criminal Appeals Lawyer in Florida?

| by

Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm

When Should I Hire a Criminal Appeals Lawyer in Florida?

Being convicted of a crime in Florida can have devastating consequences that impact your freedom, finances, family, and future. However, in many cases you have the right to appeal your conviction or sentence to a higher court and potentially overturn an unjust result.

Knowing when to hire an experienced criminal appeals attorney is critical to exercising your appeal rights effectively. Here is guidance on recognizing when a criminal appeal lawyer can help in Florida.

If You Were Convicted at Trial

If a jury or judge found you guilty at a criminal trial in Florida, meeting with an appeals attorney should be your very next step. Acting fast preserves your ability to appeal before deadlines pass.[1]

An appeal attorney reviews the trial record to identify any mistakes or errors by the judge or prosecutors that warrant an appeal.

If You Lost a Motion

Appealing immediately after losing a motion at trial, like a motion to suppress evidence, can halt proceedings until the appeal is decided.[2]

An attorney files the necessary motions to pursue an interlocutory appeal of the denied motion.

If You Received a Harsh Sentence

Feeling your sentence is unfairly harsh under the circumstances is another reason to pursue a direct appeal of your conviction or sentencing.[3]

An attorney argues the sentence violates standards or does not match the evidence presented.

If There Were Procedural Errors

Appeals courts look for procedural errors and violations of your due process rights, like not getting discovery.[4]

An appeals lawyer identifies key mistakes made by the judge or prosecution that justify overturning your conviction.

If Exculpatory Evidence Surfaces

If new evidence arises that supports your innocence, you can pursue a post-conviction appeal.[5]

An attorney presents the new evidence and argues it would have changed the verdict.

If Your Lawyer Was Ineffective

You can claim ineffective assistance of counsel if your trial lawyer made serious errors.[6]

Proving ineffectiveness is complex, so an experienced appeals lawyer is key.

LEARN MORE  220.39 Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree

If There’s Been a Change in the Law

A change in the law that now makes your actions no longer a crime or carries lesser penalties can be grounds for an appeal.

An attorney argues the change warrants reversing your conviction or reducing your sentence.

If Your Rights Were Violated

Violations of your constitutional rights, like an illegal search or lack of Miranda warnings, enable appeals.

An attorney identifies the rights violation and seeks to have evidence or confession excluded.

If New Technology or Testing is Available

Scientific advances that call forensic evidence into question or provide new testing methods can open appeal possibilities.

An attorney seeks to introduce exculpatory new test results or challenge prior forensic evidence.

If Your Conviction Was Based on False Evidence

If a key witness lied or forensic evidence was falsified, those facts can undermine your conviction.

An appeals lawyer works to prove that false evidence substantially impacted your trial.

If You Have Nothing to Lose

If you are serving a long sentence, filing an appeal provides little downside but potential upside.

An attorney may find previously overlooked appealable errors that overturn your conviction.

Consult an experienced criminal appeals attorney immediately after any adverse result at trial or sentencing. Swift action is key to success in the appeal process. Don’t hesitate to exercise your rights.

I hope this article helps explain when a criminal appeals lawyer can potentially help overturn an unjust result in Florida. Let me know if you have any other questions!