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Criminal Appeals

Darren D. Shull, P.A. > Criminal Appeals

Wrongful convictions and unlawful sentences may happen more than you think in Florida. In 2012, the Florida Supreme Court issued a report from a State funded task force on wrongful convictions. The study showed that false eyewitness testimony, hard line police interrogation techniques that resulted in untruthful coerced confessions, and in rare instances ethical failures of prosecutors cause a significant number of innocent individuals to be wrongfully convicted every year. However, the Florida Supreme Court commission found that many of these problems could be avoided if the defendants had obtained effective legal counsel from investigation to the courtroom.

An appeal by a competent criminal defense attorney can sometimes overturn or reverse a wrongful conviction or unlawful sentencing. Criminal appeals in Appellate courts are significantly different proceedings than criminal cases in the trial courts. Appeals must be based upon facts of the court record, the law and prior appellate decisions from the appellate courts locally to the United States Supreme Court so you just can’t appeal a decision that you did not like. Appeals follow prior legal precedence and newly enacted changes in the law.
Florida’s District Courts of Appeal review significant questions such as did the trial court make an error? Did the Attorney for the defendant do a competent job representing the defendant? While the trial courts decide questions of law and fact based on witness testimony and evidence, District Courts of Appeal have limited review of cases. Appellate courts generally do not review new evidence or hear witnesses unless the witnesses could not have been discovered through the normal discovery process. The Appellate court follows what has been recorded in the court record in the trial court.

Questions that District Courts of Appeal may review include:

 

  1. Allowing evidence that should not have been excluded, especially involving unconstitutional search and seizure or allowing impeachment of the witnesses or accused for past criminal acts
  2. Excluding evidence that should have been admitted.
  3. Improper jury instructions.
  4. Illegal sentencing that did not conform to statutory guidelines.
  5. Jury selection process that tries to select only fair and impartial jurors to try a case.

Reversing a conviction because a trial court made one or more of the above errors does not necessarily mean that a conviction can be reversed. A reversal of a conviction may only occur should the facts closely match prior appellate case law precedence in the appellate courts to the Supreme Courts both State and Federal.
A new trial may be granted could in fact be granted by the original trial court if it is shown that that is highly likely the conviction might be reversed by an appellate court.
Filing an appeal after a conviction in criminal court requires extensive legal knowledge and is best left to an experienced criminal lawyer in the State of Florida.
The Law Offices of Darren D. Shull, P.A. provides experienced representation in criminal appeals cases. As an experienced criminal lawyer in Northern Palm Beach County, including Tequesta, Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and the Treasure Coast, attorney Darren Shull will explore all of your legal options, including appeals, by exploring unconstitutional procedures or practices contrary to case law by the local trial court. To schedule a legal consultation call 561-972-6444. The Law Offices of Darren D. Shull, P.A. serves the residents of Tequesta, Jupiter, Abacoa, Jupiter Farms, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, West Palm Beach, and North Palm Beach.