Orlando Criminal Appeal Lawyer
Criminal courts have consistently held that a defendant is entitled to a fair trial, but not a perfect trial. This commonly-cited mantra leaves lots of room for interpretation. Most people agree as to the meaning of “perfect.” But “fair” is different. What is fair to one person might seem unfair to another person. Therefore, if there are any questions about the trial’s outcome, other than a simple disagreement with the result, there might be grounds for post-conviction relief, as outlined below.
The diligent Orlando criminal appeal lawyers at Joshi Law Firm, PA never accept a trial court’s finding as a final result. To us, it’s only a preliminary result which is subject to review. So, we thoroughly evaluate your case in order to find the appeal basis with the highest likelihood of success. Then, we tell your story to the appeals court in a compelling way which incorporates the latest judicial decisions.
Grounds for Appeal
Attorney misconduct, judicial error, and juror misconduct are the most common appealable situations in criminal trials. In some cases, please might be reviewable as well.
Defense attorney misconduct is rather difficult to prove. Inexperience, ineptitude, or poor performance are usually insufficient. Instead, the defense attorney’s conduct must have been so bad that it fell below the standard of care. Usually, the defense attorney must have been impaired, typically because of a substance or a licensing issue.
Many appeals courts use the glass mirror test in these cases. Metaphorically, someone puts a glass mirror under the attorney’s nose. If the mirror fogs up, the defendant had effective assistance of counsel.
Judicial error is likewise difficult to prove. Most appeals courts give most judges considerable leeway. A “wrong” decision is insufficient. Instead, the decision must be so bad that the judge abused his/her discretion. These errors often include pretrial decisions regarding evidence admissibility.
Prosecutorial misconduct often involves either failure to timely turn over exculpatory evidence or improper arguments at trial.
Florida has very specific rules as to what constitutes exculpatory evidence, like scientific tests or witness statements, and when prosecutors must make these items available to Orlando criminal appeal lawyers. Examples of improper arguments include selecting jurors based on their ethnicity and pandering to jurors’ emotions.
The Appeal Process in Florida
Most appeals start with negotiations. Frequently, if there was a problem at trial, prosecutors agree to vacate the original judgement and retry the defendant. That’s usually the best possible outcome in these situations. Appeals courts rarely substitute their own judgements for trial court judgements. Instead, they typically remand these cases with instructions for retrial.
If the matter proceeds to an appeals court, the judges thereon typically only hear legal arguments. They rarely consider new evidence. However, if the new evidence is game-changing and was unavailable at the time of trial, appeals courts often examine it. The Florida Supreme Court is the final stop for criminal court cases.
Florida’s judicial selection process is rather complex. Generally, a commission presents several names to the governor, who then appoints a judge. Then, these judges must stand for election, usually within three years of their appointment.
Reach Out to a Hard-Working Orange County Lawyer
Criminal appeals are difficult, but not impossible, to win. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal appeal lawyer in Orlando, contact the Joshi Law Firm, PA. Convenient payment plans are available.