You shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s mistake.
If a mistake was made during your criminal trial, you will be the one to serve jail time, pay a fine, and live with the consequences of a criminal conviction unless you take action by filing an appeal.
Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case
You can’t file an appeal simply because you don’t like the outcome of your case. However, you can file an appeal if one or more of the following fundamental errors occurred in your criminal case:
- Evidence was inappropriately admitted or excluded in the case. Evidence that was admitted or excluded in violation of the rules of evidence could have impacted the trial court’s decision in your case.
- The jury instructions were incorrect. Improper jury instructions can violate your right to due process.
- There was a lack of evidence to support the verdict. You should only be convicted if there is sufficient evidence to support each element of your crime.
- There was jury misconduct. Examples of jury misconduct include improper communication among jury members, alcohol or drug use during trial or jury deliberations, or other inappropriate activity.
- There was bias in jury selection. You have a constitutional right to an impartial jury. Certain rules must be followed when choosing a jury. If those rules are violated, it could fundamentally impact the outcome of your case.
- Your lawyer provided inadequate legal representation. If the outcome of your case might have been different if you had had effective counsel, you may have grounds for appeal.
- The prosecutor acted unethically or made errors. It is up to the court of appeals to decide if these mistakes led to an unfair conviction.
- The judge made mistakes in pretrial rulings or at trial. Judges are professionals, but sometimes, they make mistakes. If a judge’s mistake led to your conviction, it could be a fundamental error in your case.
- Due process violations. If the required procedures were not followed, your due process rights might have been violated, and you may appeal.
When you appeal, you are asking the appellate court to decide if one of the mistakes described above was made in your case and if that mistake affected the decision of the court. The appellate court may find that:
- No mistake was made. If no error was made, the decision of the trial court stands.
- A mistake was made, but it would not have changed the outcome of the case. This is known as a harmless error.
- A mistake was made that may have impacted the outcome of the case. In this situation, the case is usually remanded, or sent back, to the trial court for further action.
Do You Have a Reason to Appeal in Your Criminal Case?
Neither the trial court nor the appellate court is going to tell you if you have a reason to appeal. It’s not their job. Instead, you need a Florida appellate lawyer to review the trial record to see if any mistakes were made and if you have a legal reason to appeal. The attorney’s review of the trial record is a critical step in the appeals process. It is important for the attorney to identify all possible legal errors and to communicate those errors to the appellate court.
Typically, you only have one opportunity to make a direct appeal after a criminal conviction. Therefore, it is essential that you talk to a board-certified South Florida criminal lawyer as soon as possible so that the attorney can review your reasons for a possible appeal and take all of the required actions to protect your rights before any deadlines pass.
Attorney Robert Malove may or may not have represented you at trial. Either way, if he represents you on appeal, he will work tirelessly to make sure all of your rights are protected.
You have a lot at stake. We believe you should be treated fairly and that you should not pay the price of a criminal conviction because of someone else’s mistake. Call The Law Offices of Robert David Malove or fill out our online contact form now to learn more.