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Appeals in the Criminal Law Process

We, the jury, find the defendant, John Doe, to be "guilty" of the charge of… This is not the desired combination of words a defendant was hoping to hear from an assemblage of their peers. And although this concludes the trial the sentencing phase is still to come. In some cases, even after sentencing has been finalized, it's not the end of the road.

Listen to Mr. Cohen explain the Appeals Process in detail, or continue reading below the video:

A short video explaining this process can also be found by clicking here.

A criminal appeal is an inherent right endowed to a defendant who receives an unfavorable verdict from a jury in a decided trial. This process offers the individual the opportunity to contest the results of the jury's decision to a formal appeals court.

Although most appeals initiate at the conclusion of a trial, there are circumstances where appeals may be requested prior to a trial being decided. These are known as interlocutory appeals which are the request of a ruling by an appellate court that is made before the trial itself has come to its end. They can be filed by both by the state or government as well as the defense.

An interlocutory appeal can be requested during a trial's progression. It asks that the appellate court review a specific matter of law within a case before the trial has reached conclusion. These types of appeals are requested only in the case where an extraordinary situation exists which without being heard and ruled upon could hinder the final outcome of the case.

Asking for an interlocutory appeal and receiving one are not one in the same. Most courts are hesitant to grant these types of appeals as they delay the progression of resolving the case at hand. Interlocutory appeals are theoretically obligatory when a question of law comes up in the course of the case's advancement (a matter of law that can't be decided by the court holding the trial). If this question of law is essential to the result of the case and direct rule on the law in question could accelerate the conclusion of the case, the presiding judge may provide an interlocutory order to an appellate court. However, the appellate court has the final power to assess the order and then choose to hear the appeal if it is deemed necessary. If granted, once the interlocutory appeal has been directed to the appellate court and a decision is prepared and returned, the ongoing case can now continue in a normal manner until the case concludes. The subject of the appeal is now final and no other appellate court can reverse it.

However, in a case where the court decides to ignore the interlocutory appeal of the defense, the risk of an eventual decision being appealed after the conclusion of the case and conceivably overturned may come about if it turns out that the interlocutory appeal was discounted when it was actually justified.

In the state of Florida you must file an appeal within thirty days of a conviction. Notice to appeal would be filed in the trial court and a filing fee would be paid. The trial court will then send the formal request to an appellate court.

The Florida rules of appellate procedure have been governing the way cases advance in district courts of appeal, circuit courts and Supreme Court since 1978. The laws of Florida appellate procedures oversee all conflicting statutes and further inconsistent rules in the procedure. This division of the Florida judicial system has the specific purpose of determining if any mistakes transpired during the course of a particular court case that would have affected the conclusion of the case in the instance that it had been rectified by the trial court.

In the federal system, there is a fourteen day filing requirement for a notice of appeal starting after the trial court judge has arrived at the final decision of a decided case. The convicted defendant is now putting the prosecutorial body as well as the court on notice that the final decision is now being challenged. The defendant is referred to as the appellant while the prosecution at the trial level is termed the appellee.

To learn further about the process and find out standards of review for different appeals Click here

Zealous Defense of Your Constitutional Rights

When you need an experienced and committed defense lawyer you can trust in Southern Florida, contact the criminal defense law firm of Michael B. Cohen, P.A. online or call 954.928.0059 or 561.366.8200