Criminal Appeals Attorneys Serving Central Florida

To appeal a criminal conviction, the appellate court must be persuaded that there is compelling evidence you did not receive a fair trial. As such, you cannot appeal your conviction just because you were found guilty. To appeal your conviction, you must provide specific examples of how your trial was compromised by due process violations, misinterpretations of legal principles, prosecutorial misconduct or the suppression of exculpatory evidence. To present your case for appeal, an appellate brief must be written and filed before the court will grant an appeal.

At Damore, Delgado & Romanik , our lawyers prepare and present criminal appeals — many in cases involving due process violations or professional negligence by previous criminal defense attorneys. We have offices in Daytona Beach, DeLand and Altamonte Springs.

If you believe you were denied a fair trial due to the actions of prosecutors, a judge or your attorney, Call 386-492-8694 today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case with an appeals attorney.

Appeals In Criminal Cases

The criminal defense attorneys at Damore, Delgado & Romanik prepare and present criminal appeals for people convicted of criminal offenses such as:

What Constitutes Grounds For Appeal?

A guilty verdict alone is not grounds for an appeal. There must be specific points of law and due process considerations that indicate you did not receive a fair trial or sentence. In general, the following kinds of issues determine whether there are grounds for an appeal:

  • Evidence issues: The manner in which evidence is presented, included or excluded at trial may be grounds for an appeal. Did the judge misapply rules of law in excluding or including certain evidence at trial? Was the evidence exculpatory in nature, prejudicial or important for considering alternative suspects? Likewise, tampering with evidence or witness testimony on the part of police or the prosecution can also be grounds for an appeal.
  • Procedural issues: Due process is important in ensuring that the accused receives a fair trial and legal penalties. Failure to follow proper procedure on the part of the judge or the prosecutor may be unduly prejudicial to you, the accused. Here, testimony may be allowed that should be excluded, jurors may be given the wrong instructions, or the rules of discovery may not be properly followed.
  • Application of legal principles: During the course of trial or sentencing, a judge may need to interpret and apply certain principles of law. These may involve certain statutes, determining whether a constitutional principle is at stake or whether someone is competent to testify. Failure to properly apply a principle of law may be grounds for an appeal.

The Criminal Appeals Process

If you appeal in a state court, your request will be considered in a Florida District Court of Appeals. If you appeal at the federal level, your case will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. After you hire an attorney, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days for state court and 10 days for federal court. Once the court receives your appeal, the court clerk will gather transcripts of your trial and any motions or pleadings in your case. Once your appeal is filed and accepted, you can choose a direct appeal or pursue post-conviction relief. If you choose a direct appeal, an appellate court will hear your case, although you can't introduce new evidence unless the evidence in question would produce a new outcome at trial.

Post-Conviction Relief

If you believe your lawyer failed to properly represent you or you were denied due process at trial, you can file what is referred to as a "Rule 3 Motion" under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 for post-conviction relief. Under 3.850, however, your appeal will be heard by the judge who initially presided over your trial. If successful, your conviction will be vacated or set aside. This is especially important in cases where a defendant was told to enter a plea of guilty by a lawyer who failed to properly represent him or her. However, just because your plea may be vacated doesn't mean that you won't face a new trial.

Appeals can be complicated by several factors. If you believe you have grounds for an appeal, contact an attorney at Damore, Delgado & Romanik today.