Criminal Appeals Attorneys

Criminal Appeals Attorneys Alavi, Bird & Pozzuto will fully analyze your case to determine what appellate issues exist. We are Florida appellate attorneys who have proven trial and courtroom experience as well as the trained legal eye to extensively research and examine the details surrounding your Florida conviction.

Florida Criminal Appeals is a specific practice area requiring the skills to thoroughly and deeply investigate a judge’s ruling or your conviction in a criminal case.

Don’t give up your rights to an appeal!
In Florida, you have the right to an appeal a conviction after a trial regarding Sentencing or Scoresheet mistakes, Discovery Issues, or rulings related to Defense Motions.

Appealing Your Conviction
Being convicted of a crime in Florida has serious, life-changing consequences that will affect your liberty, your finances, your ability to work, your family, your education, where you can live, and many other aspects of your life.

You deserve to have your case carefully analyzed for appellate issues that may have unfairly contributed to your conviction.

If you have been convicted of a Florida Crime and feel there were mistakes and legal issues in your case that must be closely examined, contact Criminal Appeals Attorneys Alavi, Bird & Pozzuto, PA immediately. Call (352) 732-9191 or tell us about your case using this form. [LINK TO CONTACT FORM]

Don’t wait. You have a limited time to file an appeal in your case. Defending your rights, reputation and liberty begins with Florida Attorneys Tania Alavi, Christine Bird and Andrew Pozzuto.

The Different Types of Appeals in Florida

The term “appeal” is often used by non-lawyers to generally describe any form of relief that is sought after a defendant’s case has been resolved, whether by jury trial or plea. Generally speaking, there are four main categories of “appeals.” They are Direct Appeals, Post Trial Motions, Post Conviction Relief or Writs.

  1. Direct Appeals:

    According to Rule 9.140, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, a criminal defendant may appeal the following:

  • A final judgment adjudicating guilt.
  • A final order withholding adjudication after a finding of guilt.
  • An order granting probation or community control, or both, whether or not guilt has been adjudicated.
  • Orders entered after final judgment or finding of guilt, including orders revoking or modifying probation or community control, or both, or orders denying any of the following:
    • Rule 3.800(a) Motion to Correct Sentence.
    • Rule 3.850 Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence.
    • Rule 3.853 Motion for Post-Conviction DNA Testing.
    • An unlawful or illegal sentence.
    • A sentence, if the appeal is required or permitted by general law.
    • As otherwise provided by general law.

    After Entering A Plea (Waiving your right to an appeal): Generally, a defendant may NOT appeal a guilty or no-contest plea UNLESS he or she preserved his or her right to appeal.

    However, a defendant may appeal a guilty or no-contest plea under the following specific conditions:

  • When the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.
  • If there is a violation of the plea agreement if preserved by a motion to withdraw a plea.
  • An involuntary plea, if preserved by a motion to withdraw a plea.
  • Any sentencing errors, if preserved.
  • As otherwise provided by law.
  1. Post-Trial Motions (Must be filed within 10 days of the verdict)

    These motions may be filed after a defendant is found guilty after a trial.

  • Rule 3.580: Motion for New Trial
  • Rule 3.575: Motion to Interview Jurors
  • Rule 3.160: Motion for Arrest of Judgment
  • Rule 3.620: Motion for Conviction of Lesser OffenseThese Post-Trial Motions are explained here:
  1. Post Conviction Relief

    With the exception of death penalty cases, there are two types of motions a criminal defendant may file to obtain relief after having been convicted at trial: Rule 3.850: Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence (including a claim of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel) and Rule 3.853: Motion for Post-Conviction DNA Testing

  • Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence

    This type of motion is most commonly for its use in attacking a conviction when a defendant was represented by an ineffective lawyer. However, attacking ineffective assistance of counsel is not the only use of a motion under this rule. Essentially, the purpose of this rule is to request that a plea or conviction be vacated, set aside, or a sentence corrected because the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated.

    Pursuant to Rule 3.850, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, The following grounds may be claims for relief from judgment or release from custody by a person who has been tried and found guilty or has entered a plea of guilty or no-contest:

  • The judgment was entered or sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or the State of Florida.
  • The court did not have jurisdiction to enter the judgment.
  • The court did not have jurisdiction to impose the sentence.
  • The sentence exceeded the maximum authorized by law.
  • The plea was involuntary.
  • The judgment or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack.

Time Limits to File Motions

With the exception of motions to correct sentences that exceed the limitations of time delineated by statute, Rule 3.850 motions MUST be filed within 2 years after judgment and sentence become final. The only exception to this rule is a capital case, where the time limit is 1 year from the time judgment and sentence become final.

HOWEVER, there are three exceptions to this time limitation. They are as follows:

  • The facts on which the claim is predicated were unknown to the defendant or the defendant’s attorney and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence.
  • The fundamental constitutional right asserted was not established within the period provided for in the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure and has been held to apply retroactively.
  • The defendant retained counsel to timely file a 3.850 motion and counsel, through neglect, failed to file the motion.

Writs

In some cases, if an attorney recognizes the client’s case is severely prejudiced or even destroyed without an immediate action, an extraordinary writ may provide the necessary relief as described in Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.130.

A writ is a directive from a higher court ordering a lower court or government official to take a certain legal action. Usually, an immediate legal action is required, as opposed to waiting to object at trial and then waiting for a higher court to rule on an appeal.

Writs are extraordinary court orders and only issued when a person seeking the writ has no other options. Unlike appeals, which require a final verdict, writs are immediate orders and extraordinary in that the normal course of a trial is disrupted, potentially causing disorder and delay. Courts do not issue writs often. A court will only issue a writ when a lower court wrongly decided an issue, irreparable harm would occur to a party, and there are no other options.

Writ of Certiorari

A petition for writ of certiorari is a formal legal request for a court to review county, municipal, or state agency orders; orders of circuit courts acting in their appellate capacity; and orders of lower courts not subject to interlocutory appeal under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130(a).1 Certiorari is the most frequently used writ to review orders that cannot otherwise be directly appealed to a higher tribunal.

Writ of Prohibition

A writ of prohibition enables an appellate court to prevent a lower court from further exercising jurisdiction in an action. Generally, it cannot be used to remedy an act that has already happened.

A petition for writ of prohibition is generally used to challenge the denial of a motion to disqualify a judge or to prevent a court from acting when it has no jurisdiction. For example, in criminal law cases, the writ of prohibition is used to protect a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to speedy trial; to prevent an accused person from being placed in double jeopardy when an appeal would not provide full relief; and to prevent a criminal prosecution when the statute of limitations has already run.

Writ of Mandamus

For example, if a lower court decides to try a case that is out of its jurisdiction, an attorney may object and seek a writ of mandamus (writ of mandate) from an appeals court ordering the lower court to transfer the case to another jurisdiction.

A writ of mandamus compels a lower tribunal or government official to perform an act required by law, when a judge or official has refused or failed act. For example, a writ of mandamus may be used to compel a trial judge to rule on a pending motion; to submit certain issues to a jury, and to enforce another state’s judgment of child custody. Additionally, appellate courts have issued writs of mandamus ordering circuit court clerks to perform ministerial duties or government officials to comply with ordinances and rules. Writs of mandamus may also be used to require private corporations to perform ministerial corporate acts.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

While Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 has replaced the writ of habeas corpus in many circumstances, the writ is still widely used to obtain the release of a person who has been illegally detained or restrained.

Writ of Quo Warranto

A petition for writ of quo warranto is used to contest the authority of public officers or to require agencies to take official action.

All Writs Jurisdiction

In addition to their jurisdiction to issue the above writs, the Florida Supreme Court, the district courts of appeal, and circuit courts are constitutionally empowered to issues all writs necessary to complete the exercise of their jurisdiction.

Whether you have grounds for an appeal is a complex, legal question. An experienced criminal appellate attorney must analyze your case and determine any legal issues that may be appealed. Please contact Alavi, Bird & Pozzuto immediately.  Call (352) 732-9191 or tell us about your case using this form.