If you were recently convicted of a crime in Broward County and feel you were not given a fair trial or had an ineffective lawyer, you need a Fort Lauderdale appeals attorney to review your case.
- Types of Appeals
- Criminal Appeals in Miami
- Appeals in Palm Beach
- Illegal Sentence (Rule 3.800)
- Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (Rule 3.850)
As an individual prosecuted in the United States, you have the Constitutional right to due process and equal protection. This means that you have the right to challenge the prosecutor’s case and you have right to be treated fairly according to the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence. Whenever these rights are violated, you may be entitled to appellate relief.
What is an appeal? How can I benefit from an appeal?
An appeal is nothing more than a review by a higher court of a lower court’s legal decisions and conduct. If the higher court finds that your rights were violated in a manner that prejudiced your case, you may be entitled to relief. This relief may come in the form of a new trial, a reduction in sentence, or even having your entire case dismissed forever! The facts of any particular case will dictate what relief, if any, a particular defendant is entitled to.
What part of my case will an appellate court review?
The first thing you must understand about the appellate process is the difference between “fact” and “law.” In an appeal, an appellate court will review the legal aspects of your case. An Appellate court will not debate the merits of your case or determine if you are guilty or innocent. Rather, the purpose of an appellate court is to make sure that the law was followed during the prosecution of your case. If an appellate court finds that the law was not followed, it will order a remedy to fix the error. Just like one will use the right tool for the right problem, an appellate court will order the right remedy for the right problem. As noted earlier, some remedies may require a new trial, some a new sentence, in other situations the entire case may be dismissed!
How do I choose an appellate lawyer?
A good appellate lawyer has four basic skills.
- First, he or she must be very good at identifying legal issues. To do this, a good appellate lawyer needs to have the right combination of book knowledge and trial experience. Either one alone will not get the job done.
- Second, a good appellate lawyer must have the intelligence to formulate and develop sound legal arguments. This includes the ability to conduct extensive legal research and find the case law, rules, and statutes that support your arguments. An understanding of how the rules of evidence and procedure work is essential.
- Third, a good appellate lawyer is a talented writer. To succeed in an appeal your lawyer will need to write very convincing and persuasive legal briefs. These briefs need to frame the issues accurately and succinctly, they need to explain the relevant law in easily understood terms, and they must contain well crafted arguments that will convince the appellate court to rule in your favor. Knowing how to write persuasively is utterly fundamental when it comes to appeals.
- Fourth, a good appellate lawyer needs to be able to present oral argument. When your appellate lawyer speaks, people should listen. He or she should be able to command a courtroom and naturally attract the undivided attention of the judges to what is being said. Ultimately, your appellate lawyer must be a master of the spoken word so that the appellate court is convinced that your position is in fact the correct position and that relief is not only warranted, by required by law.
Ultimately, you should choose the appellate lawyer that you feel most comfortable with. You should meet this attorney in person and question him or her as though you were the judge presiding over the case. Test their knowledge of the law. Observe how quickly and confidently he or she answers your questions. Remember, you may choose not to question your lawyer, but the appellate judge certainly will!