Can I Appeal A Criminal Conviction? How do I start?
In criminal cases, Judges make mistakes. The Judge may have denied a motion that should have been granted or made the wrong ruling on objections to evidence. Sometimes Judges even sentence a Defendant to a sentence longer than allowed or an illegal sentence. If you have been sentenced in a criminal case, you already have two strikes against you. You need to make your next swing count. Call the experienced criminal appeal attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden, & Kelley, LLC. We have decades of experience handling criminal appeals.
Before a sentence is entered, you can, pursuant to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.590 and 3.600 file a Motion for New Trial. You only have ten (10) days after verdict to file your Motion for New Trial. Once you are sentenced, you can still file a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. These are complex motions that require an attorney who is experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable in criminal appeals. Only if these motions fail do you move on to an appeal. An experienced attorney will also use these motions to set up your criminal appeal.
In criminal cases, the appellate court’s jurisdiction may be invoked by timely filing a notice of appeal from final orders and certain nonfinal orders. This article addresses the most common final order appealed by defendants in criminal cases. In the event the defendant went to trial, the defendant has a right to directly appeal the final judgment of conviction and sentence. However, in the event the defendant has entered a plea pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, the defendant will need to expressly advise the court during the plea hearing that he or she is reserving the right to appeal a particular pretrial order to properly preserve the right to appeal such matter and the written plea agreement should reflect this reservation of the right to appeal. If this reservation of the right to appeal is not properly made, you lose your right to appeal.
Pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(b)(3), the jurisdictional time limit for criminal appeals is 30 days from the date of the trial court’s entry of the written order imposing the sentence. The importance of timely invoking appellate review in criminal cases cannot be stressed enough as it is the defendant’s only opportunity for plenary review of the criminal proceedings that resulted in his or her conviction and sentence. Belated appeals are rarely granted, and then only in extraordinary circumstances, and defendants should never rely on the possibility of obtaining a belated appeal.
Certain post-judgment motions, however, when timely filed, will suspend the time to file a notice of appeal until the trial court has disposed of the motions. Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.020(h)(1) provides that certain post-judgement motions in criminal proceedings tolls the time for the parties to file a notice of appeal, including: a motion in accordance with a prior motion for directed verdict, a motion for arrested judgment, a motion to challenge a verdict, a motion to correct a sentence or order of probation, and a post-sentence motion to withdraw a plea. When the trial court enters an order on all pending post-judgment motions under Rule 9.020(h), then the 30-day time period begins to run for the defendant to file an appeal.
Call the Cocoa and Melbourne Appeal Attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley, LLC. We have spent decades litigating criminal appeals. Do not let your 30 days to file a criminal appeal expire, call today for a free consultation: 321-631-0506 or use the email form at the top right of this page.