If you have recently been convicted of a crime in Florida, you may be sentenced to prison or jail time or other harsh penalties. If you don’t agree with the outcome of your trial for a variety of reasons, you will probably want to appeal your conviction and/or sentence. An appeal is a request of relief from an appellate court, and a direct appeal to an appellate court is a right to those convicted in Florida.
An attorney can best help you determine a valid reason for appealing your criminal conviction in trial court. Some of these reasons can be:
- Challenges to rulings on pretrial motions
- Challenges to the validity of evidence presented at trial
- Challenges to jury instructions
- Challenges to rulings and judgments at the trial
- Challenges to imposed sentences.
Tallahassee Criminal Appeals Lawyer
If you have been convicted for a criminal charge and want to appeal in Leon County, an experienced trial attorney can analyze the facts of your case, and can determine the best options for your appeal, or if errors were made at the trial court level to justify an appeal. Don Pumphrey, Jr. is familiar with Florida’s laws, and can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your situation. If you want to apply for a criminal appeal in Florida, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. today for a consultation about your criminal conviction in Tallahassee.
Florida Criminal Appeals Information Center
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Miscellaneous Florida Criminal Appeals Rules
Florida Statutes § 924.02 - In a criminal case, the state or the defendant may appeal the outcome at the trial court.
Florida Statutes § 924.051 - A defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere without expressly reserving a right to appeal a legally dispositive issue will not be permitted a direct appeal.
Florida Statutes § 924.06 - This provision outlines when a defendant is allowed to appeal, including upon final judgments or convictions when probation has not been granted; orders granting probation; orders revoking probation; or illegal sentences.
Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure § 9.030 - This provision states that court orders imposing a death sentence are appealable directly to the Florida Supreme Court.
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Florida’s Criminal Appeal Process
Once you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Florida state court, your appeal will be heard by one of the Florida District Courts of Appeals. Your attorney will have to file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of your judgment and sentencing. The Notice of Appeal must include names of the parties on appeal, the name of the lower court, the case number and whether the appeal is final or non-final.
After the Notice of Appeal has been filed, the clerk of courts will prepare and file a record within 50 days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, which includes all motions, pleadings, judgments and transcripts of your trial.
Your attorney will then write a brief, which is what the attorney will orally argue to the court if required, and it must be filed with the court within 30 days of service of the clerk’s record. After everything is filed, the appellate court will make a ruling.
If you are not successful on your direct appeal, you may be able to pursue other post conviction proceedings.
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Other Post Conviction Options
Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence - Under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure § 3.800, a defendant can file this motion if they have been sentenced to an illegal sentence that is obviously illegal. There is no limit for when this motion can be filed, and the trial court judge is permitted to correct an illegal sentence at any time. An example of an illegal sentence is if the trail court exceeded the maximum statutory sentencing requirements for the alleged crime.
Motion to Set Aside or Vacate Judgment or Sentence - This motion can be filed up to two years after your sentence has become final. This motion can be filed for a number of reasons according to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure § 3.850, but the most likely reason is for ineffective assistance of counsel. For example, if you attorney did nothing to assist you in your criminal trial, and you were prejudiced at trial because of your attorney’s lack of attention, you can file this motion to have your judgment overturned.
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus - If an appeal was not filed, or previous appeals were not successful, your attorney can file a writ of habeas corpus on your behalf. You may only file this type of writ if you were denied a constitutional right or if the trial court did not have jurisdiction over you. This is an exceptional remedy, rarely filed, and courts are hesitant to grant this type of writ.
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Criminal Appeal Resources in Florida
Leon County Web Site - The Leon County, Florida’s official government web site has a variety of information about the county, courthouses, circuit court appeals from county courts, community resources and local government links. The Leon County Courthouse is located at:
301 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
First District Court of Appeal - This court is where most criminal appeals in Leon County will be heard. It is an intermediate appellate court between the state trial courts and Florida’s Supreme Court. This web site contains important information for filing an appeal and frequently asked questions.
2000 Drayton Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Florida’s Rules of Appellate Procedure - The Florida state bar’s web site contains a link to the rules used by Florida’s appellate courts.
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The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Tallahassee Criminal Appeal Attorney
If you were convicted of a criminal charge in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr., of the Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. to discuss the facts of your particular case and reasons for your appeal. It is important to hire an experienced attorney to achieve the best possible outcome on your appeal. Lawyer Don Pumphrey, Jr. has experience and knowledge representing those convicted of criminal charges and their appeal from the criminal conviction. Contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your criminal appeal.