In Florida, someone who has been convicted of a crime can consider appealing a conviction to obtain relief from the conviction and sentence. The criminal court system allows appeal. However, most lower court decisions are upheld. Therefore, attempting to appeal a case may be a significant challenge. Some appeals are a matter of right and some are discretionary on the part of the appellate court. Generally, the party the files the appeal attempts to show a material error on the part of the trial court.
What Type of Error is Substantial?
The appellate courts distinguish between harmless error and a material error. Where an appellate court reviews an error as harmless, it is not considered to have a substantial impact on the disposition and eventual result of the case. Where an error by a trial court does not show that it affects the substantial rights of a party, it may be difficult to prove that a material mistake was made by the trial court and obtain relief.
What are the Common Errors made by Courts that Result in Reversal?
There are four main grounds that Appellants can use to seek relief of a conviction at the appellate level. Where important evidence was excluded at trial or incorrectly permitted to be entered as evidence. Where the appellate court decides that the evidence in controversy was improperly considered or inappropriately not admitted at trial, and where such impacts the outcome of the case, relief may be granted. On occasion, appeals are filed where a sentence is alleged to have been miscalculated, resulting in an illegal sentence. For instance, there are cases where a particular crime such as the crime of a felon in possession of a weapon results in a sentence below the minimum sentence required by Florida law (36 months). In such a case, the appellate court would be required to correct the sentence by issuing an order requiring such correction at the trial level or other appropriate order. Another standard that is used to decide appellate issues is whether or not a trial judge abused his or her discretion when ruling on an aspect of the case. Proving an abuse of discretion by a judge requires a high bar, as judges are usually permitted significant discretion in their rulings. However, showing that a judge has made arbitrary and or prejudicial decisions in a case is frequently required. A popular claim by criminal appellants is that their trial lawyer was ineffective in representing them at trial. Such violates a litigants rights pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. An Appellate Attorney can assist one in challenging an unjust or improper conviction.
Can an Appellate Attorney Assist Me in Reversing My Conviction?
If you have been convicted of a crime, contact an experienced appellate attorney for a consultation to find out if you could possibly appeal the sentence and outcome. You are limited on the time in which you can seek relief. An appellate attorney can help one challenge an unjust or improper conviction. Contact the Law Office of David Goldman to protect your rights and to seek relief. Call the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, and speak to an experienced criminal attorney to understand your rights. Call (904) 990-8000 for a free initial consultation today.
About the author
Neil Weinreb is a licensed Florida attorney who has been practicing in the area of criminal law for over 17 years in North Florida. Mr. Weinreb works for the Law Office of David M. Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Weinreb has worked as an adjunct professor teaching law to paralegal students at Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida. You can contact Mr. Weinreb at the Law Office of David M. Goldman for a free initial consultation. Mr. Weinreb has received the highest rating from Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent 2021.