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Appealing Your Florida Conviction


If you’ve been criminally charged and undergone a stressful trial, only to discover that justice was not served and an innocent person (you) are going to be stuck with some pretty unpleasant consequences after a guilty verdict, what choice do you have other than to suck it up and suffer the penalty? Well, in some cases, your best bet may be an appeal.  But what are the grounds for an appeal, and how does the process work?

How it Works 

After a criminal conviction in a circuit court, an appeal may be filed to the District Court of Appeal. The District Court will review the decision of the lower court to determine if errors were made, although the case will not be retried here. The steps for an appeal include:

1-       Filing the request with the clerk and paying associated fees;

2-       Sending the request to the District Court of Appeal;

3-       Sending a transcript of the trial and additional documents related to the trial;

4-       Writing a brief outlining legal arguments as to why the court’s decision was incorrect;

5-       Requesting the opportunity for an oral argument;

6-       Court issues its decision.

 Grounds for Appeal 

The rules vary slightly depending on the type of case that’s involved, but, generally speaking, there are a several grounds that can be claimed on appeal:

1-       Improper bias in jury selection, such as excluding potential jurors based on their race or gender;

2-       Rules of evidence were improperly administered, resulting in the exclusion of evidence that should have been presented, or the inclusion of evidence that should not have been allowed;

3-       Inadequate legal representation, indicated by a lack of objections to testimony or evidence that should have occurred, for example.

4-       Juror misconduct, including using drugs or alcohol while deliberating the case;

5-       Improper jury instructions that were not in accordance with the law were given;

6-       The evidence did not support the verdict;

7-       Prosecutorial misconduct such as withholding evidence;

8-       Judicial errors, including erroneous rulings on motions;

9-       Violations of due process, including not being advised of Miranda rights.

This whole process can take several months, or even years, depending on the complexity of the case in question.

The Outcome of the Appeal 

At the end of this process, there are several possible outcomes:

1-       They may reverse for new sentencing;

2-       They may reverse for a whole new trial;

3-       They may dismiss the charges altogether;

4-       They may affirm the conviction.

If the conviction is affirmed, it is possible to appeal to yet a higher court.

The Advocate You Need 

Clearly, the appeals process is not for the faint of heart!  The process can be extremely stressful, and requires patience.  The criminal defense attorneys at Salazar & Kelly Law Group understand that your future is in their hands, and fight aggressively every step of the way for the best possible outcomes. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our Kissimmee office today.



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