If you were convicted of a crime in Palm Beach County, Florida, you may benefit from hiring a Palm Beach appeals attorney to review your case. Were you treated fairly? Were you given the opportunity to present your case? Were you given all credit for time served? Was your trial lawyer effective?
All individuals that are arrested in the United States have the right to due process and equal protection, thanks to the Constitution. Defendants are entitled to challenge the case that was brought against them, due to procedural, legal, or ethical issues. Whenever someone’s rights are violated, they might be entitled to file an appeal.
Appeals are the judicial system’s own series of checks and balances. Whenever a case is appealed, the case goes to a higher court, so those judges can determine if the lower court violated your rights in a way that changed the potential outcome of your case. The court that is reviewing the appeal has the ability to grant a new trial, change the sentence, or dismiss the case completely.
Every case has two aspects to it, fact and law. The factual portion of the case is the actual evidence and testimony. It is the story behind the case. The legal issues dictate how the story will play out in front of the jury. For example, should the evidence be suppressed because the police violated your rights? An appeal addresses legal issues only. The appellate court will not deem someone guilty or innocent. The appellate court will review the case and determine if the law was followed. If the law was not followed, the appellate court will pick an appropriate remedy.
A good Palm Beach appeals attorney will start a case by identifying legal issues. The legal issues are found in the transcripts and motions that lead to the final outcome of the case. Knowledge of the law, and trial experience are both necessary in order to succeed as an appellate attorney.
After spotting the legal issues, a good attorney will develop arguments to present to the court. However, a good argument must be supported by relevant law. Understanding how to apply the law to the issues is an essential skill for any appellate attorney. Unbeknownst to many people, Florida’s appellate courts are divided into districts. The appellate cases that create law which will effect your case vary from district to district. To get the best representation possible, you need an appeals lawyer who is familiar with the controlling laws of your district because a lawyer far away from the courthouse is likely far away from the law that controls that courthouse…
In addition to formulating an argument that highlights the legal issues in a case, a good appeals attorney must be able to convey the arguments in writing. All appeals are started by filing a written brief with the appellate court. The brief must accurately convey the legal issues and explain how the relevant law applies. This application of the law, combined with a well-crafted argument are essential to convincing the court to rule in your favor.
Finally, a good appellate lawyer must be able to think on his feet. After the appellate court reviews the parties’ briefs, the court may grant oral arguments on the issues. During oral argument, both parties will have an opportunity to tell the court why their position is correct. The judges will then ask the attorneys questions. The judges’ questions are often meant to expose flaws in the attorneys’ arguments or address root issues. A good attorney will be able to answer the judges with a succinct answer that highlights how the relevant law applies to the case and why his client’s position is the correct one.
Having a Palm Beach appeals attorney review your case is the first step for any appeal following a conviction in Palm Beach, Florida.