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11/4/2014

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11/5/2014

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11/6/2014

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Appeals

Appeals are a written legal argument (called a brief) along with an oral argument before three judges.

Appeals are about highlighting legal errors that the judge may have made during the trial that would have deprived the client of a fair trial. It is more common to bring issues about the legality of a search or the admissibility of a confession to the appellate court during an appeal than to just make a blanket argument that someone is innocent.
judges.

APPEALS HAVE STRICT TIME LIMITS: In Florida State Court, appeals begin with a defendant filing a notice of appeal within thirty days of the sentence. In Federal Court, the defendant must file a notice of appeal within ten days of the sentence. It is important you contact us immediately after a conviction. We can begin work immediately after the trial is over- even before the sentence.

FEDERAL APPEALS AND STATE APPEALS:

In Monroe and Miami Dade County, appeals from a state felony criminal trial are made to the Third District Court Of Appeal. Appeals from felony criminal trials in Federal District Court are made to the 11th Circuit US Court Of Appeals in Atlanta.

THE APPEALS PROCESS:

The appeals process begins after a defendant is sentenced. The defendant must order the trial transcripts as well as any other transcripts that the defendant wants the judges of the court of appeals to read. Typically this would include the transcript of any pre-trial motions including motions to suppress evidence or confessions. The Record On Appeal consists of transcripts along with any other physical documents that the attorneys may have filed with the clerk of court. Once the record on appeal is filed with the court of appeals, then the attorney writes and files a brief. The brief can be up to fifty pages, and must contain a recitation of the facts, with a citation to the part of the transcript to support the facts, along with one or more points on appeal. The points on appeal will be those errors, identified by the appellate attorney, that the trial court made, which the defense argues deprived the defendant of a fair trial. Once the brief is filed, the attorney general (not the local state attorney's office that handled the trial) will respond to the brief with a answer brief. The defendant (known as the appellant during the appeal-) can file a short reply brief. Either side can request oral argument, however the appellate court does not have to grant oral argument. The oral argument will take place at the district court of appeals. Oral argument is usually very short, commonly ten minutes per side. After oral argument the three judges will meet and discuss the case and the arguments and reach a decision. They will then issue that decision in writing. That decision is called the opinion. The opinion will provide directions to the trial judge. The opinion can affirm the conviction, meaning the defendant has lost their appeal, or reverse the conviction and order either a new trial, or in rare cases order that the defendant be discharged and the case dismissed. Appeals to the Florida Supreme Court. A defendant has no automatic right to appeal a decision from the District Court of Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. Either side that has lost at the District Court level can ask the Florida Supreme Court to accept the case. This is called a petition for certiorari. The petition for certiorari has to argue that the District Court of appeals in the case made a decision that is contrary to the same decision of law that a different Court of Appeals in Florida has made. The Florida Supreme Court sits as the final court to resolve conflicts on issues of law between two or more District Courts of Appeals.

Philip L. Reizenstein has handled appeals before the third and fourth district courts of appeal in Florida , the Florida Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for federal cases.



TYPES OF CASES THAT ARE APPEALED: From state circuit courts and state county courts in Florida, we commonly handle appeals for assault and aggravated assault, battery and aggravated battery, burglary, possession of cannabis or possession of marijuana and trafficking in cannabis or trafficking in marijuana, domestic violence, drug possession and drug trafficking, cocaine possession and cocaine trafficking, DUI or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, possession of methamphetamine and trafficking in methamphetamine, grand theft, organized scheme to defraud, attempted murder and murder, health care fraud and other fraud or embezzlement types of crimes. As you can see, we handle a wide variety of appeals.

From Federal District Courts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, we handle appeals for drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute marijuana or possession with intent to distribute cannabis, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, all types of conspiracy cases including conspiracy to possess or distribute cocaine, conspiracy to possess or distribute marijuana, conspiracy to possess or distribute cannabis, conspiracy to possess or distribute methamphetamine, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, embezzlement, debt collection violations, stock fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit stock fraud.

Appeals represent the last, best hope a person has to defend themselves in a criminal case. Appeals require a specialized knowledge of both criminal law and appellate law. If you or someone you know has a case that requires a lawyer experienced in appeals, call us. The consultation is free.