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 for a crime doesn't necessarily mean game over. Depending on the nature of your conviction and your plea, you may have grounds to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal.
However, while you may have the option to appeal a criminal conviction, this doesn't necessarily mean it's an easy process. You will need the expertise and experience of a criminal defense attorney to assist you. The Law Office of Farkas & Crowley has the necessary experience to help you with your criminal appeal in Florida.
The Criminal Appeals Process in Florida
The criminal appeals process can be lengthy and complex. Individuals who want to proceed with an appeal might have to be patient as filing an appeal with the Court can take some time, depending on the number of appeals and caseload.
In 2013, approximately 76 percent of all criminal appeals fall into the following top four categories:
- Drug offenses
- Firearms and explosives
Working with a reputable criminal defense attorney, and one who has a successful track record will work on your behalf to see you and your case through the appeals process in Florida.
The Notice. The criminal appeals or “appellate” process in Florida can be complex. But the first step in the appeals process is to file a “Notice of Appeal” along with all necessary paperwork, which consists of papers, documents, transcripts, and other records with the District Court of Appeals within 30 days of an undesirable conviction.
The Brief. Once the appeal notice has been filed, now it's time to work on your brief with your attorney. This brief will give you an opportunity to explain your thoughts on why you feel your conviction was unjust or why a legal error was made. You and your attorney will also need to be able to provide just cause and evidence that backs up your decision to file an appeal.
The Decision. Once the Notice of Appeal, and all corresponding necessary paperwork has been filed with the District Court of Appeals, now 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 and then reach a decision.
Regardless of whether the decision is favorable or denied, the judges will write a notice with a complete explanation behind their decision to the attorney and individual.
If the judges' decision is favorable, and the Court has agreed to listen to the case, then the trial court will then plan the next steps.
If your request for an appeal was denied, then this completes the appeal process. However, an attorney and individual may have the option to file another appeal at a higher court.
To learn more about the criminal appeals process in the state of Florida, it's in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The legal team at the Law Office of Farkas & Crowley, P. A. fights for clients' rights, and looks out for their best interests' through every step of the process.
Call 561-444-9LAW To Schedule a FREE Consultation and See How We Can Help
How is the Florida Court Structured?
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 break down of the Florida courts, and the types of cases and claims that are heard at each:
- County Courts: Small claims, civil claims, traffic court, and misdemeanors
- Circuit Courts: Family law and probate, felonies, larger civil cases (worth over $15,000), guardianship, juvenile delinquency, any appeals from County Courts
- District Court of Appeals: Final actions of state agencies
- Supreme Court: Constitutional questions, capital cases, bond validations, and public utility cases
Does Your Case Qualify for an Appeal?
So how do you know if your own 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 was sentenced accordingly, then the likelihood of being granted an appeal is much lower.
In order 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. A good criminal defense attorney will take the time to review your case, your records and evidence, and discuss the next steps.
For more information on appealing a conviction, contact the Law Office of Farkas & Crowley, P.A. for a free case evaluation and consultation or call 561-444-9LAW today.