While many people have an idea about court trials due to the depictions in books, TV shows, and movies, the appeal law process is far much complicated. Anyone who is charged with a criminal offense in Pensacola can appeal the decision unless this right is waived during a plea deal. It is advisable to hire appeal lawyers in Pensacola Florida to represent you during an appeal. Read more about our appeals attorneys in Florida.
If you or a loved one is convicted of a crime in Pensacola, FL, you should rest assured that you have legal options. A Pensacola criminal appeals attorneys can help you explore all the avenues for filing your appeal. You should ensure that you disclose all the details of your case to the lawyer without withholding any information. Your lawyer will take you through all the legal options and advice you on the best course of action.
The first phase in the Pensacola appeals process is for you to file a notice with the clerk in the court where you were convicted. You are required to file a notice of appeal within 30 days from the time the clerk signs a written order. If you fail to file a notice within this time frame, you risk losing the right to file an appeal. However, in some cases, you may be allowed to file a petition for a belated appeal after the 30-day window period has lapsed. Belated appeals usually apply in special cases like when new evidence is discovered or where your previous lawyer failed to file an appeal notice within 30 days. In federal courts, offenders are required to file appeal notices within 14 days.
After filing an appeal notice, you are required to instruct the clerk on the documents that should be included in the records. The records include an account of everything that happened during the trial. You should submit these instructions to the clerk within 10 days of filing the appeal notice. According to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, the following records are collected during an appeal:
Many appeals are based on the briefs presented by the parties involved. The main appellate briefs filed in state court appeals are:
Initial Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellant (the party who is appealing the lower court ruling). The briefs are filed within 70 days after filing the appeal notice. The briefs establish the reason why the appellant believes the decision by the lower court is erroneous and the kind of relief you are seeking.
Answer Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellee (the party who supports the lower court’s ruling). The briefs are filed within 20 days after the appellee receives the initial briefs and contains arguments that favor the lower court’s ruling.
Reply Briefs: These briefs are filed within 20 days from the time the appellant receives the answer briefs. These briefs contain arguments that respond to and refute arguments raised in the answer briefs.
Cross-Reply Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellee within 20 days after receiving the reply briefs. These briefs contain a rebuttal to the arguments raised in the reply briefs.
In federal appeals, the names of the briefs and the time limits are different.
Principal Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellant within 40 days after they have filed the record
Response Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellee within 30 days after receiving the appellant’s principal briefs
Response and Reply Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellant within 30 days after receiving the response briefs
Appellee’s Reply Briefs: These briefs are filed by the appellee within 14 days after receiving the response and reply briefs
Oral arguments are usually requested in appeal proceedings but they are not always allowed. Pensacola appeal lawyers are required to file a request for oral arguments within 10 days after the final brief has been served. In oral arguments, each side is given 20 minutes to present their case. These arguments are presented to a panel of judges.
After the court of appeal receives the record, reviews all briefs, and hears the oral arguments, the judges will convene a meeting to decide on a final ruling. The duration of the court’s final ruling will depend on the court’s workload and the complexity of your case. Generally, you can expect to get a ruling in a few months.
The appellate court may affirm the lower court’s ruling or disagree with it. If it disagrees with the trial court’s ruling, it will issue a mandate that directs the court to perform a certain action. This could be anything from freeing an offender from custody to scheduling a hearing on a specific legal issue.
Your Pensacola criminal appeals attorneys can still help you if your appeal is unsuccessful. Your lawyer will file a petition for rehearing en banc. This is a request for an appeal to be presided over by all appellate judges and not just a panel of three. Your Pensacola appeals may also file a motion for rehearing or for clarification. To file an appeal motion, you need to meet certain standards. Typically, you need to show that the current decision of the court of appeal conflicts with the decision of the court of appeal in a similar legal issue in the past.
Sometimes court trials end in unfair judgments and the parties involved often feel helpless. If you or a loved one has received an unsatisfactory court ruling, you have the right to appeal. The Pensacola appellate law firm has set out certain measures you can take to appeal your case in a court of appeal. With the help of a lawyer, you can go through all these phases in pursuit of a favorable ruling. While appeal cases are more complex than court trials, with competent Pensacola appeal lawyers, your chances of getting a better ruling are high.
Speak with an appellate lawyer.